Where to get information on NZ hydrology

By Waiology 08/12/2011

By Daniel Collins

While we’re building up Waiology to be a useful reference for those of you who are interested in New Zealand’s hydrology and freshwaters, I thought it would also be good to mention some other useful resources available.


Freshwaters of New Zealand. Edited by Jon Harding, Paul Mosley, Charles Pearson and Brian Sorrell. Jointly published in 2004 by the NZ Hydrological Society and the NZ Limnological Society. Forty-six chapters by New Zealand experts on topics ranging from precipitation to lacustrine food webs — an excellent reference.

Groundwaters of New Zealand. Edited by Michael Rosen and Paul While. Published in 2001 by the NZ Hydrological Society.

Floods and Droughts. Edited by Paul Mosley and Charles Pearson. Published in 1997 by the NZ Hydrological Society.


Journal of Hydrology (New Zealand). Published biannually by the NZ Hydrological Society. Includes research articles predominantly by NZ scientists. Articles become open-access when 4 or so years old.

NZ Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. Published four times a year by the Royal Society of NZ. Includes research articles predominantly by NZ scientists. Open-access content from 1994-2006.


Water Physical Stock Account: 1995—2010. Prepared by NIWA for Statistics NZ, 2011. Provides information on NZ’s national and regional water balance.

Update of Water Allocation Data and Estimate of Actual Water Use of Consented Takes 2009—10. Prepared by Aqualinc Research Ltd for the Ministry for the Environment in 2010.


Regional council hydrometric data collections. Each regional council and unitary authority has its own set of monitoring sites and archives of data: climatic, river flow, groundwater, and lake level.

Environmental Data Explorer NZ (EDENZ). An online collection of data including measured river flow and climatic conditions are particular sites. Provided by NIWA.

Water Resources Explorer NZ (WRENZ). An online interactive map of rivers, hydrological stations, and estimates of river flow, sediment yield and water quality around the country. Provided by NIWA. [Ed (23/4/2015): This service has been discontinued. A partial replacement (flood frequencies in small basins) may be found here: NIWA Stream Explorer

MetService. Weather forecasts around New Zealand.

Seasonal Climate Outlook. NIWA’s seasonal forecasts of temperature, precipitation, soil moisture and river flow around the country.

Of course, there are many more reports from the various CRIs (NIWA, GNS, Landcare Research), regional councils or unitary authorities, and central government agencies (MFE, MAF), but I’ll leave it there for now. If there are some resources you’d like to recommend, please leave a comment.