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Southland region

River Quality

Four major river catchments – the Waiau, Aparima, Oreti and Mataura cover 54% (18,305 square kilometres) of the region, and represent the majority of the developed land in the region. The remainder of the region’s area is made up of smaller coastal catchments.

Please note, some sites are not currently displaying data. Data from missing sites will be populated in September. If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact Environment Southland on 0800 76 88 45 or email service@es.govt.nz.

Pressures on water quality in Southland are from agricultural development and intensification, as well as from urban development including industrial and wastewater discharges.

Environment Southland monitors 76 water quality sites around the region to assess the state and trends of water quality and risk to community from swimming. Most sites are located in hill country and lowland catchments, with fewer sites occurring in natural state areas.

Water quality is generally excellent in natural state areas such as Fiordland and Stewart Island. However, many lowland rivers and streams show elevated levels of nutrients. Many lowland streams' bacterial loadings are above the national and Regional Water Plan standards. Water clarity is acceptable in most monitored catchments, with the exception of streams with naturally diminished clarity, such as those draining peat swamps or tannin-stained catchments. These streams often have naturally lower dissolved oxygen and pH levels.

 

Catchments 13 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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