Environmental flow tools
Tools and software to assist with determining and managing environmental flows.
Our Sustainable Water Allocation Programme (SWAP) has produced a series of tools and software to assist with managing freshwater resources. These tools are summarised below:
New Zealand River Maps is an interactive web-based application for exploring national scale predictions of a suite of river environmental variables, including water quality, hydrology, bed sediment size, invertebrate metrics, fish presence, bed sediment cover and water allocation.
Environmental Flows Strategic Allocation Platform (EFSAP)
This a water planning and management tool designed to assist with setting regional or large scale water resource use limits. It predicts how limits on water take and minimum residual river flows can be designed to optimise reliability of water use and effects on instream environments.
The Cumulative Hydrological Effects Simulator software predicts how water flows at a catchment scale will change under a combination of water uses and what these flow changes mean in terms of reliability of water supply and effects on instream environmental values. CHES operates on a daily flow time-series basis and is underpinned by outputs from hydrological models (e.g. TOPNET, ELFMOD).
This is a statistical tool for estimating flows at multiple points along rivers subject to surface/ground-water exchanges, using both measured flow at selected sites and other predictor variables such as rainfall and groundwater levels. ELFMOD can visually represent how river flow changes with time and distance.
Water Allocation Impacts on River Attributes is a decision-support system designed to provide guidance on whether a water take or discharge could have adverse impacts on selected environmental variables, including dissolved oxygen, water temperature, ammonia and aquatic habitat.
The River Environment Classification is a spatial framework for regional (or larger) scale environmental monitoring and reporting, environmental assessment and management. The REC maps a host of information about the physical characteristics of New Zealand’s rivers, including catchment climate, topography, geology and land cover. Information is mapped by individual river segment for the entire national river network. The current version available is version 2 (REC2).