Rivers

Latest news

It may be rubbish to everyone else, but to Amanda Valois each little scrap of plastic on a river bank or in a waterway tells a valuable story.
Christchurch’s Red Zone is to be the focal point of a scientific experiment involving street lights and insects over summer. 
On the bottom of New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs is an underwater garden of vivid green, pinks and inky blues.
As the road behind Hanmer Springs turns to gravel and a dust cloud forms in the rear vision mirror, the southern edge of Molesworth Station unfolds.

Our work

The New Zealand Fish Passage Guidelines sets out recommended practice for the design of instream infrastructure to provide for fish passage.

NIWA is developing numerical models for predicting how the morphology of braided rivers responds to flow regulation and invasive exotic woody vegetation.

The ability to properly manage our freshwater resources requires a solid understanding of the flora and fauna which live in and interact with them.
NIWA is undertaking a five-year nationwide study to find out how different approaches to riparian planting influence water quality improvements and to provide better guidance to the people and groups undertaking stream restoration.

Latest videos

A day out measuring at Molesworth
A day out measuring at Molesworth
Modelling vegetation-impacted morphodynamics in braided rivers
NIWA is developing numerical models for predicting how the morphology of braided rivers responds to flow regulation and invasive exotic woody vegetation.
This project aims to increase our knowledge of aquatic ecosystems and their restoration, and apply this to degraded streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries.
It may be rubbish to everyone else, but to Amanda Valois each little scrap of plastic on a river bank or in a waterway tells a valuable story.
Christchurch’s Red Zone is to be the focal point of a scientific experiment involving street lights and insects over summer. 
The Fish Passage Assessment Tool has been developed to provide an easy to use, practical tool for recording instream structures and assessing their likely impact on fish movements and river connectivity.

The issue

Currently there are gaps in understanding of user decision making processes and public needs and requirements for river forecasting in New Zealand. This project aims to bridge NIWA river forecasting aspirations and capabilities with both the public and decision makers’ requirements. This project addresses the following question: How do we better align our current and planned river forecasting capabilities and interactions with users and decision makers’ requirements? 

Freshwater Update 79 brings you the latest information from our Freshwater & Estuaries Centre, with articles ranging from NIWA working with NASA; restoring a stream catchment in Kaikōura; looking after urban water; keeping soil and reducing sedimentation; to culling catfish.

‘Swimmability’ of New Zealand rivers

Swimming is a popular activity in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Two attributes of waters that strongly affect aesthetic quality and safety for swimming are visual clarity and faecal contamination. It turns out that these two attributes are fairly well-correlated (inversely) in New Zealand rivers, such that (easily seen) visual clarity provides a rough-but-useful guide to (unseen) microbial quality.

The value of archived biological collections: understanding the lake snow invasion

The diatom (Lindavia intermedia) that causes lake snow—nuisance slime in clean-water lakes that ruins angling and can block water intakes—was apparently introduced to New Zealand shortly before 2002, but was widespread by 2005. To obtain a clearer picture of when this diatom arrived in New Zealand, Otago Regional Council (ORC) commissioned NIWA to search archived diatom data and collections.

Freshwater Update 78 brings you the latest information from our Freshwater & Estuaries Centre, with articles that cross a broad spectrum of freshwater research, from archives to aquifers, periphyton guidance, geo-engineering and swimmability.

On the bottom of New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs is an underwater garden of vivid green, pinks and inky blues.
The New Zealand Fish Passage Guidelines sets out recommended practice for the design of instream infrastructure to provide for fish passage.
Freshwater Update 76 brings you the latest information from our Freshwater & Estuaries Centre, with articles ranging from spring and river water condition to urban waters, didymo and aquatic plant scientists.
As the road behind Hanmer Springs turns to gravel and a dust cloud forms in the rear vision mirror, the southern edge of Molesworth Station unfolds.
A day out measuring at Molesworth
A day out measuring at Molesworth
NIWA is undertaking a five-year nationwide study to find out how different approaches to riparian planting influence water quality improvements and to provide better guidance to the people and groups undertaking stream restoration.
Returning water to our waterways after we’ve used it in our homes, on farms and in industry is a complex and challenging process.
NIWA's Freshwater and Estuaries Chief Scientist Dr John Quinn believes the dairy industry has been responsive in the tools it has adopted to reduce its impact on waterways.
NIWA discusses, in depth, this year's most asked question—what is happening to our fresh waterways?

NIWA is doing a nationwide study to discover what makes the best riparian projects. Help us give you the knowledge to make the best riparian management decisions possible by taking our 5 minute survey.

NZ river maps

This is an interactive web-based application being developed for exploring national scale predictions of a suite of river environmental variables, including water quality, hydrology, bed sediment size, invertebrate metrics, fish presence and bed sediment cover.

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