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Lake Okareka

Lake Okareka is in an ignimbrite plateau and has steep caldera walls on its north-eastern side, testament to the processes that formed the Haroharo Caldera. The lake receives most of its input via groundwater seepage, run-off and rainfall, and has a maximum depth of 34m. Lake level is controlled via a valve at Waitangi Spring and a channelled and piped stream. The discharge flows into Lake Tarawera.

Lake Okareka has a catchment area of 19.6sq km and the lake area is 3.4sq km. The catchment is approximately half-forested, with nearly 75 percent of that being indigenous forest. The remaining land is largely pastoral or invasive vegetation, with some urban development at the lake’s southern end. Okareka is of high recreational and aesthetic value and has undergone in-lake treatment to reduce phosphorus levels. It has moderate water quality and productivity and is classed as mesotrophic. The lake was subject to nutrient enrichment from septic tank inputs and pasture, although the pastoral area has been reduced and the waste water from the residential properties is now treated in the Rotorua city sewage treatment plant. The Lake Okareka Catchment Management Plan was agreed in 2004. This is a long-term plan to improve the water quality of the lake through interventions such as sewage reticulation, in-lake chemical treatment and farm nutrient management. As a result, the lakeside community’s wastewater was reticulated in 2011.

Lake Summary
  • Lake size
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  • Maximum depth
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  • Catchment size
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Scientific data for this lake

This dashboard shows information on the data collected by the regional councils for two lake water quality and ecological condition measurements. Lake SPI (Lake Submerged Plant Indicators) and TLI (Trophic Level):

  • Water Quality

    Trophic Level Index (TLI)

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    This measure is the Trophic Level Index (TLI). The TLI indicates the lifesupporting capacity of a lake and is based on four water quality indicators.

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    Trophic Level Index (TLI) history for this lake

    Trophic Level Indicator (TLI) which measures four parameters: water clarity, chlorophyll content, total phosphorus and total nitrogen. From these parameters a TLI value is calculated. In cases where water clarity data is missing a three parameter TLI is calculated. The higher the value, the greater the nutrients and fertility of the water which encourages growth, including algal blooms. As a rule, higher TLI scores mean poorer water quality. View a factsheet on TLI

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    TLI history for Lake Okareka
    Year
    TLI history for Lake Okareka data table
    Year TLI Score
    Year TLI Score

    What do the icons mean?

    VERY GOOD
    Very good water quality. Trophic Level Index of less than 2. Microtrophic lake conditions.
    GOOD
    Good water quality. Trophic Level Index of 2-3. Oligotrophic lake conditions.
    AVERAGE
    Average water quality. Trophic Level Index of 3-4. Mesotrophic lake conditions.
    POOR
    Poor water quality. Trophic Level Index of 4-5. Eutrophic lake conditions.
    VERY POOR
    Very poor water quality. Trophic Level Index of greater than 5. Supertrophic lake conditions.
    NO DATA
    No data available.
  • Ecological Conditions

    Submerged Plant Indicators (SPI)

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    The LakeSPI status describes the ecological condition of the lake and is based on plants present.

    LakeSPI data provided by NIWA

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    LakeSPI history for this lake

    LakeSPI (Lake Submerged Plant Indicators) is a method of characterising the ecological condition of lakes based on the composition of native and invasive plants growing in them. A higher LakeSPI percentage result is associated with better ecological health:

    LakeSPI N/A
    LakeSPI {{spiData.grades[0].Value}}%

    The overall LakeSPI score is calculated using a Native Condition Index ('good' plants) and an Invasive Impact Index (introduced, non-native plants):

    Native Condition N/A
    Native Condition {{spiData.grades[0].NativeIndex}}%
    Invasive Impact N/A
    Invasive Impact {{spiData.grades[0].InvasiveIndex}}%

    A higher Native Condition percentage is also good, but a higher Invasive Impact percentage is bad. View a factsheet on SPI

    • SPI %
    • Native Condition %
    • Invasive Impact %
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    LakeSPI history for Lake Okareka
    Year
    LakeSPI history for Lake Okareka data table
    Sample Date Status LakeSPI % Native Condition Index % Invasive Impact Index %
    LakeSPI information has been provided by NIWA.

    What do the icons mean?

    EXCELLENT
    Excellent ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 75-100%.
    HIGH
    High ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 50-75%.
    MODERATE
    Moderate ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 20-50%.
    POOR
    Poor ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 0-20%.
    NON-VEG
    Non-vegetated. A LakeSPI score of 0% (there are no plants present).
    NO DATA
    No data available.
Sites

Monitored sites on Lake Okareka

...retrieving sites.

No sites found.

Live Data

The lake level is the only measurement collected continuously at Lake Okareka.

Disclaimer

The Environmental Data produced by this page should be used as a guide only. LAWA takes no responsibility for the accuracy of information presented, and accepts no liability for actions taken of others based on this information.
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