Water Quality

Latest news

A combination of artificial intelligence and scientific ingenuity looks set to be the next step forward in protecting Aotearoa New Zealand’s lakes and rivers from invasive aquatic weeds.
Environmental monitoring technician Patrick Butler has spent hours travelling between the upper and lower reaches of Canterbury’s Waimakariri and Hurunui Rivers. His mission – river water quality sampling.
How much is too much? Susan Pepperell looks at some of the tough decisions looming around access to freshwater and how science is helping with solutions.
A new study has identified seven freshwater species native to Aotearoa-New Zealand that will likely be highly or very highly vulnerable to climate change.

Our work

Many of New Zealand's aquatic ecosystems, and their services, are in a degraded and often worsening state. NIWA is involved in research and consultation' aimed at improving the health of our freshwater systems.
New Zealand’s freshwater and estuarine resources provide significant cultural, economic, social, and environmental benefits. Competition for the use of these resources is intensifying, and many rivers, lakes and estuaries are now degraded.
Maniapoto Māori Trust Board and NIWA worked collaboratively during 2018-19 to support Ngāti Maniapoto whānau to reconnect with and participate in the assessment of their freshwater according to their values.
Eutrophication occurs when nutrients in streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries cause excessive growth of aquatic plants and algae (primary producers).

Latest videos

SHMAK Habitat - Rubbish
The SHMAK method for rubbish involves collecting and identifying all the rubbish (litter) in the stream and on the stream banks.
SHMAK Habitat – Visual Habitat Assessment
The SHMAK visual habitat assessment gives your stream a score that you can use to assess changes over time or compare streams.
SHMAK Habitat – Streambed Composition
Two methods for describing streambed composition: the visual assessment method is quicker while the Wolman walk is more accurate.
SHMAK Stream Life – How to Sort and Identify your Benthic Macroinvertebrate Sample
Use an ice-cream tray to isolate and separate your invertebrates. The Benthic Macroinvertebrate Field Guide helps you with identification.
This project aims to increase our knowledge of aquatic ecosystems and their restoration, and apply this to degraded streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries.
A combination of artificial intelligence and scientific ingenuity looks set to be the next step forward in protecting Aotearoa New Zealand’s lakes and rivers from invasive aquatic weeds.
Environmental monitoring technician Patrick Butler has spent hours travelling between the upper and lower reaches of Canterbury’s Waimakariri and Hurunui Rivers. His mission – river water quality sampling.
How much is too much? Susan Pepperell looks at some of the tough decisions looming around access to freshwater and how science is helping with solutions.
A web application tool to explore monitoring data and model predictions related to stream and estuary eutrophication
A new study has identified seven freshwater species native to Aotearoa-New Zealand that will likely be highly or very highly vulnerable to climate change.
Maniapoto Māori Trust Board and NIWA worked collaboratively during 2018-19 to support Ngāti Maniapoto whānau to reconnect with and participate in the assessment of their freshwater according to their values.
To prepare for changes in climate, our freshwater and oceans decision-makers need information on species vulnerability to climate change.
Eutrophication occurs when nutrients in streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries cause excessive growth of aquatic plants and algae (primary producers).
Constructed wetlands are a water quality restoration tool that can reduce levels of sediment, nutrients and microbes such as E. coli.

Lagarosiphon be gone

An underwater invader recently brought key agencies and organisations including Land Information New Zealand, NIWA, Otago Regional Council, Boffa Miskell, Department of Conservation, Ministry for Primary Industries, Fish and Game and Lake Guardians, together in Wanaka.
SHMAK Habitat - Rubbish
The SHMAK method for rubbish involves collecting and identifying all the rubbish (litter) in the stream and on the stream banks.
SHMAK Habitat – Visual Habitat Assessment
The SHMAK visual habitat assessment gives your stream a score that you can use to assess changes over time or compare streams.
SHMAK Habitat – Streambed Composition
Two methods for describing streambed composition: the visual assessment method is quicker while the Wolman walk is more accurate.
SHMAK Stream Life – How to Sort and Identify your Benthic Macroinvertebrate Sample
Use an ice-cream tray to isolate and separate your invertebrates. The Benthic Macroinvertebrate Field Guide helps you with identification.
SHMAK Stream Life – How to get your Benthic Macroinvertebrate Sample Ready for Sorting
Before you look at what animals you have collected, follow these methods to clear away debris (stones, sand, leaves, twigs) from your sample in the net.
SHMAK Stream Life – Collecting Benthic Macroinvertebrates in Muddy-Bottom Streams
If your stream has a muddy-bottom or soft-bottom (made of silt or mud), you need to use a different method than if your stream has a stony-bottom.
SHMAK Stream Life – Collecting Benthic Macroinvertebrates using the Kick-Net Method
Use a net & the kick-net method to collect a greater range of benthic macroinvertebrates and more accurately assess the diversity of the community.
SHMAK Stream Life – Collecting Benthic Macroinvertebrates using the Stone Method
If you don’t have a net, you can collect stones from the streambed and collect the invertebrates that are clinging to the stones.

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All staff working on this subject

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Principal Technician - Marine Ecology
Principal Scientist - Ecosystem Modelling
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Principal Scientist - Aquatic Pollution
Principal Scientist - Catchment Processes
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Riparian and Wetland Scientist
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Hydrological Modeller
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Land and Water Scientist
Wastewater Scientist
Principal Scientist - Aquatic Pollution
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Water Quality Scientist
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Hydrology Scientist
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Environmental Monitoring Technician
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Coastal Technician
Environmental Monitoring Technician
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Catchment Modeller
Resource Management Scientist
Regional Manager - Auckland
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Environmental Scientist
Maori Organisational Development Manager
Algal Ecologist
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Principal Technician - Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology
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