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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


The proposed changes to water quality standards are part of a package that will improve the overall quality of our rivers and lakes over time.

The 2003 Ministry for the Environment and Ministry of Health joint guidelines identify 540 E. coli/100ml as the level at which it is not it is safe to swim. This hasn’t changed.

‘Swimmable’ under the new proposals means a river needs to have a median of less than 130 E. coli/100 ml year round. Read more...


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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