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Home > Our region and environment > Water > Freshwater Futures > Freshwater science - monitoring and research

Freshwater science - monitoring and research

Regional Council leads and supports a range of scientific monitoring and research work to improve understanding about freshwater sources, use, availability, quality and how these can best be sustainably managed.

Freshwater monitoring

Environmental monitoring to measure changes in the region's land, air and water quality over time is a useful tool for detecting environmental problems, informing solutions and checking whether restoration efforts are making a difference. It's also a task that regional councils are directed to do under the Resource Management Act.

We use various sampling methods and scientific indicators to actively measure and monitor freshwater quality, quantity and ecological health throughout the region. This includes regular recording of E.coli, blue-green algae and nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorous) levels, clarity and turbidity, macro-invertebrates (aquatic insects, snails, shrimps and worms), water temperature, water levels, flow, rainfall; and the use of Mataurangi Māori alongside our western science.

Recent freshwater science reports


Kaituna Maketu and Pongakawa Waitahanui catchments:

Rangitaiki catchment:

Rotorua Lakes catchments:

See our Knowledge Centre Library for a complete catalogue of Regional Council's environmental monitoring and research reports, or to request printed copies.