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Manawatu-Wanganui region

River Quality

Rivers, streams and lakes are important for recreation in the Region. Residents and visitors enjoy kayaking, swimming, rafting and fishing. 

Overall water quality in the headwaters of most rivers and streams is good. However, a range of factors causes the quality to decline as it journeys towards the coast. Natural influences on water quality include changes in climate, soil and landscape while man-made factors include land use and waste discharges. As agriculture has intensified over the past few decades there has been increased deforestation and hill country erosion as well as in the need for more water to be used for irrigation, all of which contribute to changes in water quality.

Rivers, streams and lakes are important for recreation in the Region. Residents and visitors enjoy kayaking, swimming, rafting and fishing. Over summer, Horizons monitors the water quality at many popular swimming spots and the results are available on the Regional Council’s website and automated telephone line.

The Regional Council’s scientists and technologists use both electronic and manual monitoring, sampling and reporting equipment for 65 State of the Environment (SoE) and 57 discharge water quality monitoring sites throughout the region.

 Horizons manages increasing pressure on both surface water and groundwater. Farming, towns and industry require consents to take water out of the rivers and any potential contaminants that could impact on the health of our waterways are closely monitored.

 

Catchments 15 Scientific Indicators
Scientific data for this region

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

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

  • 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.

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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