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90% of rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040 - 90 per cent of New Zealand’s lakes and rivers to meet swimmable standards by 2040, see Clean water information, maps and funding


Proposed changes to water quality standards are part of a package to improve the overall quality of our rivers and lakes over time. We have developed maps to provide a general indication of water quality for swimming over the long term. The maps assign categories based on E. coli levels in rivers and toxic algae in lakes.

See more information and the proposed E. coli attribute table for rivers

The Ministry for the Environment has released Water quality for swimming maps to help New Zealanders understand the quality of water in their region.

The Government today announced a target of 90 per cent of New Zealand’s lakes and rivers meeting swimmable water quality standards by 2040, alongside releasing new policy, regulations, information maps and funding to help achieve the new goal.


See the Clean Water package 2017 

The Freshwater Improvement Fund commits $100 million over 10 years to improve the management of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and wetlands.


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