River water quality trends, 2008–2017, 1998–2017, and 1990–2017

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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20555
182
Updated
15 Apr 2020

This dataset was last updated on MfE Data Service on 15 Apr 2020.

16 April 2020: Subsequent to publication in April 2019 we discovered two small errors with this dataset. These included:

  • Errors in the coordinates of some sites and their associated metadata (such as landcover and elevation).
  • Errors in our calculation of dominant landcover.

In addition, flow data from TopNet has also been updated.

These changes have a minor impact on overall results. These changes have have been corrected, and are republished here, as part of the Our freshwater 2020 release.

This dataset measures how water quality in New Zealand’s rivers is changing over time. It contains nine parameters of water quality based on measurements made at monitored river sites in years 1990-2017:

  • Nitrate-nitrogen
  • Ammoniacal nitrogen
  • Total nitrogen
  • Total phosphorus
  • Dissolved reactive phosphorus
  • Water clarity
  • Turbidity
  • Escherichia coli
  • Macroinvertebrate community index

More information on this dataset and how it relates to our environmental reporting indicators and topics can be found in the attached data quality pdf.

Summary report available at www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/fresh-water/water-qua....

Table ID 99883
Data type Table
Row count 9225
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Nitrate leaching from livestock time series 1990–2017

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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7549
69
Added
16 Apr 2019

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 16 Apr 2019.

We report on trends in nitrate-nitrogen from livestock that has leached from soil per year across New Zealand since 1990.

Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plant growth. It occurs naturally, but in agricultural systems more nitrogen is commonly added to soils as fertiliser or as urine or dung from livestock. Not all the additional nitrogen can be used by plants and microorganisms, so some nitrate-nitrogen may leach (drain) from the soil. Livestock urine is the dominant source of nitrate-nitrogen leached from soil. Leached nitrate-nitrogen can enter groundwater and waterways, potentially causing ecological harm. The amount of nitrate-nitrogen leaching from the soil varies around the country as a result of different land uses, climates, and soils.

More information on this dataset and how it relates to our environmental reporting indicators and topics can be found in the attached data quality pdf.

Summary report available at www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/fresh-water/spatial-n...

Table ID 99876
Data type Table
Row count 2016
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Natural river flow statistics, predicted for all river reaches

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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You must attribute the creator in your own works.

11575
288
Added
29 Sep 2015

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 29 Sep 2015.

River flow is the quantity of water passing a point over a certain time. Each river or stream has its own natural flow characteristics, such as peak flows following rain or high spring flows from snow melt. Overall, this affects how much water is available for irrigation, drinking water, hydroelectricity generation, and recreational activities. River flows also influence a waterway’s physical form, habitat, and ecological processes like migration, spawning, and food supply for aquatic life.

This dataset relates to the "The geographic pattern of river flows" measure on the Environmental Indicators, Te taiao Aotearoa website.

Table ID 52536
Data type Table
Row count 570579
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

River water quality: Nitrogen, state, 2016 - 2020

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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491
4
Added
11 Aug 2022

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 11 Aug 2022.

Adapted by Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand to provide for environmental reporting transparency. Dataset used to develop the “River water quality: Nitrogen” indicator, (available at www.stats.govt.nz/indicators/river-water-quality-n...).

Nitrogen in river waters is one of five parameters that provide an overview of New Zealand’s River water quality and how it is changing over time. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plants and algae. Some nutrient supply is a natural component of healthy rivers, but agricultural and urban land use, and infrastructure such as wastewater treatment plants, can add more nitrogen to waterways. Too much nitrogen can lead to excessive growth of algae, which can deteriorate river habitats. In very high concentrations, some forms of nitrogen, including nitrate-nitrogen and ammoniacal nitrogen, can be toxic to aquatic life.

This dataset shows:

  • concentrations of total nitrogen (TN), nitrate-nitrite-nitrogen (NNN) and ammoniacal nitrogen (NH4N) measured at monitored sites, expressed as percentiles for the period 2016–2020
  • a comparison of measured nitrate-nitrite-nitrogen and ammoniacal nitrogen concentrations at monitored sites with the proportion of human modified landcover in the upstream catchment area
  • how measured median values compare to the default guideline values in the Australian and New Zealand guidelines for fresh and marine water quality (ANZG, 2018), which indicates the risk of environmental impairment
  • toxicity to aquatic species, as defined by the National Objectives Framework (NOF) bands related to ecosystem health (MfE, 2020)

More information on this dataset and how it relates to our environmental reporting indicators and topics can be found in the attached data quality pdf.

Summary report available at environment.govt.nz/publications/environment-aotea....

Table ID 109656
Data type Table
Row count 34784
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

River water quality: Clarity and turbidity, state, 2016 - 2020

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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383
6
Added
11 Aug 2022

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 11 Aug 2022.

Adapted by Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand to provide for environmental reporting transparency. Dataset used to develop the "River water quality: clarity and turbidity" indicator (available at www.stats.govt.nz/indicators/river-water-quality-c...).

This dataset contains two parameters of water quality based on measurements made at monitored river sites:

  • Clarity
  • Turbidity

Clarity and turbidity in river waters is one of five parameters that provide an overview of New Zealand’s river water quality and how it is changing over time.

This dataset includes:

  • clarity and turbidity as measured median values at monitored sites for New Zealand’s river length for the period 2016–2020
  • how these values compare to the default guideline values in the Australian and New Zealand guidelines for fresh and marine water quality (ANZG, 2018), which indicates the risk of environmental impairment
  • measured visual clarity median values compared with the National Objectives Framework (NOF) bands related to ecosystem health (MfE, 2020)

More information on this dataset and how it relates to our environmental reporting indicators and topics can be found in the attached data quality pdf.

Summary report available at environment.govt.nz/publications/environment-aotea....

Table ID 109665
Data type Table
Row count 15864
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Estimated contemporary and pre-human wetland area, by type (2008 estimate)

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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7215
50
Added
29 Sep 2015

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 29 Sep 2015.

Wetlands support unique biodiversity and provide important services. They clean water of excess nutrients and sediment, help absorb floodwaters, and act as carbon sinks (remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere). They also have cultural importance for Māori, and provide valuable food and materials (eg flax). Draining wetlands for agricultural and urban development over the past 150 years has significantly reduced their extent, leading to a loss of biodiversity and natural function. This dataset contains estimates of the national extent of the different types of wetlands in contempary and pre-human times.

This dataset relates to the "Wetland extent" measure on the Environmental Indicators, Te taiao Aotearoa website.

Table ID 52541
Data type Table
Row count 14
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

River water quality, raw data by site, 1975-2013

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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You must attribute the creator in your own works.

25524
531
Added
30 Mar 2017

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 30 Mar 2017.

River water quality water is valued for many reasons including ecological function and habitat, recreational value, its role in supporting people and industry, and its cultural significance. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are essential for plant growth, however too much in rivers can lead to ‘nuisance’ growths of river algae and aquatic plants, degrading habitat. High concentrations in the form of ammoniacal nitrogen and nitrate-nitrogen can be toxic to fish and other aquatic animals. Water clarity is a measure of underwater visibility, and affects habitat of aquatic life such as fish and birds, and can also impact on aesthetic values and recreational use of rivers and streams. Escherichia coli (E.coli) can indicate the presence of pathogens (disease-causing organisms) from animal or human faeces, which can cause illness.

File contains raw data collected at regional council and NIWA monitored sites over the period 1975-2013. Fields are described as follows. Refer to Larned et al. 2015 for further details:
* nemarid ---- Unique NIWA ID
* lawaid ---- Unique LAWA ID
* rcid ---- Collection agency
* srcid ---- Region site is located in
* sflag ---- River (r) or Estuary (e)
* river ---- River name
* location ---- Name of site, assigned by collection agency
* nzmge ---- easting
* nzmgn ---- northing
* nzreach ---- REC1 segment identifier
* sdate ---- Sample date (yyyy-mm-dd)
* Q ---- Flow recorded when sample was taken (if available), cumecs
* npid ---- NIWA parameter ID (as used in Larned et al. 2015)
* lpid ---- LAWA parameter ID
* fdval ---- Parameter value (units are mg/m3, except CLAR (m) and ECOLI (n/100 mL))

For more information please see:
Larned, S, Snelder, T, Unwin, M, McBride, G, Verburg, P, McMillan, H (2015).Analysis of Water Quality in New Zealand lakes and Rivers: data sources, data sets, assumptions, limitations, methods and results. NIWA Client Report no. CHC2015-033. Available at data.mfe.govt.nz/x/Mo8VUY from the Ministry for the Environment dataservice.

This dataset relates to the "River water quality" measures on the Environmental Indicators, Te taiao Aotearoa website.

Table ID 53590
Data type Table
Row count 732014
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Cultural Health Index scores for waterways, 2005–16

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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7320
40
Added
25 Apr 2017

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 25 Apr 2017.

Cultural Health Index scores for a waterway is a combination measure of historical cultural use and access, mahinga kai assessment, and water quality assessment from a cultural perspective of a site on a waterway.

The Cultural Health Index scores compile this information into a classification system to provide an overall grading of the state of a site and how the state of a site on a waterway affects the mauri, the ability for tangata whenua to feed the hapu and iwi and the overall water quality for the site. These are all important indicators of the cultural health of a waterway, and are also a consideration for other cultural and recreational activities like karakia, cleansing, swimming and wading.

Table ID 53617
Data type Table
Row count 42
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

River water quality: Nitrogen, trends, 1991 - 2020

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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You must attribute the creator in your own works.

429
7
Added
11 Aug 2022

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 11 Aug 2022.

Adapted by Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand to provide for environmental reporting transparency. Dataset used to develop the “River water quality: Nitrogen” indicator, (available at www.stats.govt.nz/indicators/river-water-quality-n...).

Nitrogen in river waters is one of five parameters that provide an overview of New Zealand’s River water quality and how it is changing over time. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plants and algae. Some nutrient supply is a natural component of healthy rivers, but agricultural and urban land use, and infrastructure such as wastewater treatment plants, can add more nitrogen to waterways. Too much nitrogen can lead to excessive growth of algae, which can deteriorate river habitats. In very high concentrations, some forms of nitrogen, including nitrate-nitrogen and ammoniacal nitrogen, can be toxic to aquatic life.

This dataset shows:

  • trends in concentrations of total nitrogen, nitrate-nitrite-nitrogen, and ammoniacal nitrogen based on measurements made at monitoring sites during the 10-year period from 2011 to 2020, the 20-year period from 2001 to 2020, and the 30-year period from 1991 to 2020.

More information on this dataset and how it relates to our environmental reporting indicators and topics can be found in the attached data quality pdf.

Summary report available at environment.govt.nz/publications/environment-aotea....

Table ID 109659
Data type Table
Row count 25930
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Groundwater quality, trend, 1999-2018

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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4934
45
Added
07 Apr 2020

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 07 Apr 2020.

This indicator measures groundwater quality in New Zealand’s aquifers and how it is changing over time, based on measurements made at monitored sites. We report on nitrate-nitrogen, ammoniacal nitrogen, dissolved reactive phosphorus, chloride, conductivity and Escherichia coli (E. coli) including:

  • trends in concentrations for 10-year (2009–18) and 20-year (1999–2018) periods.

More information on this dataset and how it relates to our environmental reporting indicators and topics can be found in the attached data quality pdf.

Table ID 104571
Data type Table
Row count 1699
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed
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