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Kowhai River

The Kowhai River is located in the Kaikoura zone. It flows south from the slopes of Manakau in the Seaward Kaikoura Range, turning southeast as it reaches its narrow coastal plain. The river flows into the ocean to the west of the Kaikoura Peninsula, three kilometres west of Kaikoura township. The river catchment has a mild maritime climate and high sunshine hours with an average annual rainfall that ranges from 1750mm in the headwaters to 844 mm by the coast. The upper catchment is mostly alpine rock and gravel with a mixture of native and exotic scrubland. Lowland areas are under landuse pressures and are a mixture of low and high producing grassland, with dairying and beef farming being the predominant landuse activities.

The Kowhai River is included in Environment Canterbury’s state of the environment monitoring programme; the site represents a lower alpine fed river. As with many areas in New Zealand, increasing pressure is being placed on our water resources by intensifying landuse activities, increased demand for water take (e.g. for irrigation and urbanisation), particularly in lowland areas of the Kowhai catchment. The best water quality is observed in the upper reaches of the catchment where there has been less degradation and anthropogenic activity. The poorest water quality is found closer to the coast where the river is under pressure from landuse activity.

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Monitored sites in the Kowhai River catchment

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Scientific Indicators
Scientific data for this catchment

This dashboard shows information on the data collected by the regional councils for water quality indicators, analysed as state and trend.

The state for the catchment is represented by the median concentration for the parameter across all sites within the catchment and then compares that value to the quartiles for all monitored sites in New Zealand.

Click on the parameters state icons to compare this catchment with others in the region.

  • State

    State shows how the median of samples from this site compares to other sites

  • Trend

    Trend shows how the quality of water is changing over time. Depending on the sampling history duration, five and ten year timescales are available:

Can I trust this data?

The Cawthron Institute has worked alongside regional councils to verify the processes and methods used for data collection, laboratory analysis of samples collected and the statistical analysis and interpretation of the results presented.

If all Cawthron ticks are green, then you can trust this data. However, if one or more ticks are orange, then conclusions should be treated with some caution.

For more details on each tick, see our 'Can I Trust This Data?' Factsheet.

Can I trust the data?
Data Collection

All samples were collected using approved field protocols and have been analysed in accredited laboratories. Therefore the data shown here has been collected and analysed following best practice.

State

All samples were collected using approved field protocols and have been analysed in accredited laboratories. Therefore the data shown here can be trusted.

Trend - Adjustment for flow

This data is not flow adjusted. National guidelines suggest that flow-sensitive variables are flow 'adjusted' before trend analysis. Therefore, any trends shown here may be affected by variations in flow across sampling occasions.

Bacteria

E. coli
State
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Trend
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Clarity

Clarity

Black disc
State
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Trend
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Clarity

Turbidity
State
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Trend
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Nitrogen

Nitrogen

Total Nitrogen
State
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Trend
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Nitrogen

Total Oxidised Nitrogen
State
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Trend
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Nitrogen

Ammoniacal Nitrogen
State
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Trend
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Phosphorus

Phosphorus

Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus
State
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Trend
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Phosphorus

Total Phosphorus
State
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Trend
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Download Data

.ZIP file of indicator readings for all sites in New Zealand
Download
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 LAWA Partners shall not be liable, whether in contract, tort, equity or otherwise, for any loss or damage of any type (including consequential losses) arising directly or indirectly from the inadequacy, inaccuracy or any other deficiency in information supplied irrespective of the cause.  Use of information supplied is entirely at the risk of the recipient and shall be deemed to be acceptance of this liability exclusion.