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Waimea River

Originating from the northwest Richmond Ranges the Wai-iti and Wairoa rivers combine near the settlement of Brightwater to form the Waimea River which flows into the Waimea Inlet on the south edge of Tasman Bay. The Waimea Inlet is the largest enclosed estuary in the South Island and is highly valued as a breeding area for seabirds.

Irrigation is heavily utilised on the Waimea Plains which can compound water restrictions during periods of very dry weather. The rivers feed the aquifers used by the Wakefield, Brightwater and Richmond water supplies – servicing a population of over 16,000 people.

With tension between existing supply and demand a project is currently underway with the aim of developing a medium sized dam in the Richmond Ranges to store winter rainfall for release in the drier months. The dam would form a 70 hectare lake in upper Lee Valley holding up to 13 billion litres of water.

The maximum consented daily water take from the Waimea catchment is 24,573 cubic metres.

Sites 6

Monitored sites in the Waimea 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

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
Disclaimer

 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.