We monitor a representative cross-section of rivers and streams across the region to assess the suitability of water quality for native water plants and animals.
This indicator shows how suitable our water quality is for aquatic plants and animals to live there. We describe the average ‘pass rate’ for seven water quality measures:
Sensitive aquatic plants and animals cannot live and thrive when water quality is poor.
Some contaminants (like ammonia and heavy metals) are toxic to aquatic organisms; others use up the dissolved oxygen that aquatic organisms need to breathe. Water that is too warm can stress sensitive fish and animals. Nuisance growths of water plants, algal slimes, and phytoplankton blooms can thrive when there are excessive levels of plant nutrients.
Water quality for ecological health is better in some parts of the region (for example, the Upper Waikato River and the tributaries of Lake Taupō) than in others (for example, Hauraki and the lowland tributaries of the Waikato River). This is mainly because of the greater intensity of land use in the lowland parts of the region.
An average ‘pass rate’ for seven water quality measures (dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, ammonia, temperature, nitrogen and phosphorus) is determined by comparing results with national and local guidelines for ecological health.
More detail on this indicator, including how and where Waikato Regional Council collects this information, is available in the Technical information page.
You can order any of these documents from our library. Most documents will incur a charge.
Tulagi, A. 2014. Waikato River Water Quality Monitoring Programme: Data Report 2013. Waikato Regional Council Technical Report 2014/31. Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton.
Tulagi, A. 2014. Regional Rivers Water Quality Monitoring Programme Data Report 2013. Waikato Regional Council Technical Report 2014/30. Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton.
This indicator is updated annually
Water Quality Scientist - Science and Strategy Directorate
Updated April 2016