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Lake Waipū

Lake Waipū is a shallow coastal dune lake located within the Turakina River catchment. In 2015, Horizons Regional Council commenced quarterly water quality monitoring of the lake by helicopter. In 2015 and 2020, NIWA assessed the ecological condition of the lake using Submerged Plant Indicators (LakeSPI) and observed kākahi (native freshwater mussels), an important indicator of water quality.

The lake catchment area is nearly 95 per cent pasture, which is a source of lake eutrophication (nutrient enrichment) that can lead to increased plant growth and/or algal blooms.

In April 2017, Central Government opened applications for the first round of the Freshwater Improvement Fund, initially seeking to distribute $20 million across freshwater projects around New Zealand. Horizons, in collaboration with Rangitīkei District Council (RDC), Nga Wairiki Ngati Apa, Rātana Community Board, and the Department of Conservation submitted an application for the removal of the Rātana Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) to the unnamed tributary (and ultimately Lake Waipu) and to discharge to land.

In September 2017, the project was announced as being successful and was funded in its entirety with the $1.75 million project receiving $875,000 through the Freshwater Improvement Fund, which is administered by the Ministry for the Environment (MfE). It requires $1.6 million to be spent on the purchase of land and the infrastructure required for irrigation of wastewater to land (Rangitīkei District Council) and the remaining $150,000 is for monitoring and developing the restoration plan, in particular to recommend options to deal with the legacy issues created by the current WWTP discharge to the lake (Horizons Regional Council).

Lake Summary
  • Lake size
  • Maximum depth
  • Catchment size
  • Mixing pattern
  • Geomorphic type
Scientific data for this lake

This dashboard shows information on the data collected by the regional councils and unitary authorities for two lake water quality and ecological condition measurements. LakeSPI (Lake Submerged Plant Indicators) and TLI (Trophic Level Index).  Select an indicator to see the historical monitoring data.

  • Water Quality

    Trophic Level Index (TLI)

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    This measure is the Trophic Level Index (TLI). The TLI indicates the life supporting 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

    TLI history for Lake Waipū

    What do the icons mean?

    Very good water quality. Trophic Level Index of 0-2. Microtrophic lake conditions.
    Good water quality. Trophic Level Index of 2-3. Oligotrophic lake conditions.
    Average water quality. Trophic Level Index of 3-4. Mesotrophic lake conditions.
    Poor water quality. Trophic Level Index of 4-5. Eutrophic lake conditions.
    Very poor water quality. Trophic Level Index of greater than 5. Supertrophic lake conditions.
    No data available.
    TLI history for Lake Waipū data table
    Year TLI Score
    Year TLI Score
  • Ecological Conditions

    Lake Submerged Plant Indicators (LakeSPI)

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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.details.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.details.NativeIndex}}%
    Invasive Impact N/A
    Invasive Impact {{spiData.details.InvasiveIndex}}% NA

    A higher Native Condition value indicates better ecological condition, but a higher Invasive Impact value indicates invasive plants are negatively impacting native plant communities.
    View a factsheet on LakeSPI for more information on these indicators.

    • LakeSPI
    • Native Condition
    • Invasive Impact
    LakeSPI history for Lake Waipū

    What is this graph showing me?

    This graph is displaying the overall LakeSPI score over time. The results denote the ecological condition of the lake.

    Excellent ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 75-100%.
    High ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 50-75%.
    Moderate ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 20-50%.
    Poor ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 0-20%.
    Non-vegetated. A LakeSPI score of 0% (there are no plants present).
    No data available.
    LakeSPI history for Lake Waipū data table
    Sample Date LakeSPI Status LakeSPI % Native Condition Index % Invasive Impact Index %
    LakeSPI information has been provided by NIWA.

Monitored sites on Lake Waipū

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No sites found.