New Zealand's Environment Reporting Series: The Ministry for the Environment and StatsNZ
River water quality 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 excessive growth of river algae, which can degrade habitat.
High concentrations of nitrogen in the form of ammoniacal nitrogen and nitrate-nitrogen can be toxic to fish and other aquatic animals, and nitrate-nitrogen can be toxic to humans. 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 the model outputs for river water quality indicators as medians for each river segment in New Zealand’s digital river network.