The Waikato region has more than 100 lakes, ranging from small ponds to the largest lake in New Zealand, Lake Taupō. Based on their location and how they were formed, these lakes can be grouped into: riverine lakes, peat lakes, karst lakes, Waikato River hydro lakes, West coast sand dune lakes and Taupo volcanic zone lakes.
Waikato Regional Council is looking at ways to protect Waikato’s lakes and restore those with poor water quality.
Many of the region’s lakes are shallow and particularly vulnerable to water quality shifts. Demand for farmland and urban development close to water has meant that most of our lakes are now much smaller and shallower than they were in the early 1900s. Some lakes have been completely drained and turned into pasture.
Lakes tend to collect pollutants over time because their waters are still. More intensive use of land in lake catchments means many lakes now receive more nutrient and sediment loads than in the past.