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  Environment » Environmental Information » Environmental indicators » Groundwater: monitoring and reporting » Groundwater well construction

Groundwater well construction

Photograph showing airlift development of a groundwater well

Why we monitor groundwater well construction

Monitoring the number and location of wells drilled gives an indication of pressure on groundwater resources through development.
Contractors are required to keep drill-logs, which provide an important source of information on groundwater resource investigation and management. We also monitor the construction and completion of wells to ensure they meet the conditions set in the consent to avoid or mitigate adverse effects on the resource.

  • Poor well construction can result in uncontrolled leakage of our groundwater resources.
  • Inadequate sealing at the wellhead can lead to direct contamination of the groundwater.
  • Mixing of isolated aquifers due to the well construction can also affect water quality.

This indicator monitors the number of resource consents issued to drill wells or piezometers (narrow wells drilled for monitoring and investigations), and their locations in the Waikato region. Consents may be issued for multiple drill holes.

This information shows where groundwater resources are investigated, monitored or developed for water supply. Drilling activities above the water table, and temporary drilling (for example, site investigation), are excluded from this indicator as no resource consent is required.

What's happening?

The region’s groundwater resource makes up about 90 per cent of our fresh water. The graph linked shows the number of resource consents issued for constructing groundwater wells in the Waikato region from 1990 to 2015. Consents can be issued for drilling and constructing multiple wells or piezometers at a site. Piezometers are narrow wells drilled for monitoring or investigation purposes.

  • On average, 361 applications for well construction jper year have been issued between 2002 and 2015.
  • A total of 262 applications were received in 2015, slightly down from the previous year.
  • Most well sites are in the Hamilton Basin, southern Hauraki Plains and Pukekohe areas. This regionalmap shows where wells have been constructed.

>>Find out more about these data and trends 

Why groundwater well construction is important

The region’s groundwater wells supply drinking water, irrigation water for agriculture and horticulture and water for industrial use. Groundwater wells and piezometers (narrow wells) are also constructed for monitoring and investigating purposes.

Managing groundwater well construction is important as poorly constructed wells can result in contaminated water supplies. It also helps tell us about where the pressure on this water resource is occurring.

Waikato Regional Council checks consented wells to ensure that they are properly constructed and completed and comply with the conditions of the resource consent. It's important that wells comply with resource consent conditions, as: 

  • poor well construction can result in leakage of our groundwater resources
  • inadequate sealing at the wellhead can lead to direct contamination of groundwater
  • mixing of isolated aquifers due to the well construction can also affect water quality.

More information

More detail on this indicator, including how and where we collect this information, is available in the technical information page.

Useful links

Groundwater

When this indicator is updated 

This indicator is updated annually.

Contact at Waikato Regional Council 

Groundwater Hydrologist - Science and Strategy Directorate  

Updated 30 June 2016

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