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Tasman region

River Quality

The Tasman region has more than 9,000 kilometres of rivers and streams, a coastline stretching for 817 kilometres. This region is also home to Te Waikoropupu Springs, the largest cold water springs and some of the clearest water in the Southern Hemisphere. Clearest of all is Blue Lake in Nelson Lakes National Park which at times achieves over 80m black disc water clarity.

These waterways provide valued places for swimming, boating and other recreation, a home for aquatic plants and animals, a source of food, water for drinking, hydroelectricity, and irrigation for horticulture and agriculture.

Tasman District Council works to ensure all these values are maintained or enhanced and that our district’s resources are used in a sustainable way. The council monitors surface water quality across the district. Surface water quality applies to rivers, streams, lakes, and beaches. In this section you will find information on the health of our surface water resources.

The main threats to water quality are the intensification of agriculture and the growth in population. The council monitors more than 50 sites across the district for water quality and works with the community and industry to ensure we have a sustainable resource for the future. Some of our rivers and streams have changed dramatically since European settlement. These have been dammed, had water pumped out or diverted, waste discharged into them, or invasive plants introduced. The land draining into these rivers (their catchment area) has been cleared for agriculture, forestry and urban development. These activities all increase the amount of runoff entering rivers and streams.

Many of the district’s rivers and streams are probably in better condition now than they were half a century ago, but they continue to be affected by pollution from a variety of sources, including runoff and leaching from agricultural land, stormwater and industrial discharges.

Catchments 16 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

This data is not sampled during high flows so the data shown only represents base flow conditions. Proposed national guidelines recommend sampling during both low and high flows to get a full picture of water quality.

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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