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Home > Latest News > Media Releases > Media Releases 2014 > October 2014 > State of the art monitoring buoy headed for Rotorua Lakes

State of the art monitoring buoy headed for Rotorua Lakes

Tuesday, 7 October 2014 12:00 p.m.

A cutting edge monitoring buoy will be deployed in Lake Rerewhakaaitu later in the year and will be showcased at an evening to highlight research projects being undertaken for the Rotorua Lakes. 

The next-generation ‘profiler’ buoy uses an automated, solar-powered winch to record water quality data. Developed by the University of Waikato in collaboration with Del Monte Ltd and iQuest (NZ) Ltd, it advances their existing monitoring buoys which are used as far afield as China and in Lakes Rotorua, Rotoiti, Rotoehu, Tarawera and Okaro.

The buoys use electronic sensors to measure climate, as well as water quality variables such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, algae and suspended matter affecting clarity in the water column. Data is recorded every 15 minutes and displayed live on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council website.

University of Waikato technician Chris McBride says the new buoys allow more in-depth analysis.

“By measuring lake conditions much more frequently than would be possible by manual sampling methods, we greatly improve our understanding of how lakes respond to the environment in both the short and long-term,” he said.

“The solar powered winch enables us to remotely measure water quality variables at different heights in the water column.  It provides more detailed data and will give us a clearer picture of what is happening in the lake.”

“The data collected from buoys are a foundation for various Lakes Programme research initiatives. For example, the existing lake buoy data has been used to improve the performance of computer models of Lake Rotorua, and to monitor the effects of aerators installed in Lake Rotoehu,” Mr McBride said.

Mr McBride will explain how the monitoring buoys work as part of an evening of presentations to the community about various research projects within the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme. The session, hosted by Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the University of Waikato will be held on Wednesday 8 October, 6pm at the Holiday Inn, Rotorua.

Other topics to be covered on the night include economics of lake restoration, connecting forest health to water quality in Lake Okataina, greenhouse gas emissions from the lakes and modelling the restoration of Lake Okaro.

For more information or to RSVP go to

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Bouy - Rotorua Lakes