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

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).
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.

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.

Scientists are using a remote-controlled miniature speedboat to gauge New Zealand river flows. It's red and cute, and just two metres long. They call it a Q-boat.

Welcome to Freshwater Update for May 2012.

This issue contains news about work from NIWA's Freshwater team, and Water Quality maps and information for the period January, February, March 2012.

As well as the articles below, the following have been added to our website:

Robot spies make new science discoveries in Fiordland's World Heritage Park

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.
Small native fish eat a range of benthic invertebrates in streams. The larvae of mayflies and caddisflies are the most important food species, with chironomids being important for juvenile fish and in streams where all other prey are scarce.

Ever wondered what that brownish foam is that you sometimes see clinging to sandy beaches? It's easy to think the foam is a sign of pollution, but in fact it's a natural phenomenon associated with certain kinds of beaches, and the tiny organisms that live there.

Welcome to Freshwater Update.

Here we bring you a review and outlook of New Zealand's freshwater resources, seasonal water quality information and news of our latest freshwater research. 

As well as the articles in this update, the following have been posted to our website:

Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems 

July's FWU includes water quality maps and information. 

Retrospective river flows, July to September 2011

What we predicted for July 2011 to September 2011

River flows are likely to be normal in the North Island and north of the South Island, and normal or below normal in the rest of the South Island. 

What actually happened during July 2011 to September 2011

River flows were normal to below normal for most of the country, with some above normal river flows in the eastern North Island, eastern Southland and coastal Otago. 

 

Cover habitat for fish can be riparian (i.e. over the stream) or instream (e.g. wood debris or boulders).

Changes to water flow regimes can affect fish in several ways.

Fish species have varying habitat requirements. If a habitat requirement is not present, the species that rely on it will not be abundant in your stream.

A problem with recruitment is usually indicated by the absence, or very low density, of fish where they would normally be present.

Pages

 

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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