About Our fresh water 2017 report

The latest report in the New Zealand's Environmental Reporting Series – Our fresh water 2017 – equips every New Zealander with independent information on the state of their environment and helps inform decision making.

Our fresh water 2017 looks at the state of our freshwater environment and what pressures created that state. 

It focuses on three key themes:

  • water quality
  • water quantity and flows
  • ecosystems, habitats and species. 

Building on the fresh water chapter in Environment Aotearoa 2015, this is the first dedicated report on fresh water to be released under the Environmental Reporting Act and will be an important benchmark for tracking change over time.

Significant environmental change is generally not seen in the space of a couple of years so in this report we have focused on adding breadth to create a more complete national picture of our freshwater environment.  A list of new and updated measures since Environment Aotearoa 2015 is below and more information can be found on the Stats NZ website.

Access Our fresh water 2017, the infographic, web indicators and data service from the Environmental reporting on fresh water web page.

New Measures Updated measures Not updated measures

Selected barriers to freshwater fish in Hawke’s Bay


Consented freshwater takes


Conservation status of New Zealand’s freshwater fish and invertebrates


Cultural Health Index for freshwater bodies


Groundwater pesticides


Kaitiakitanga of the Waikouaiti catchment


Lake submerged plant index


Tau kōura: freshwater crayfish traditional fishing method


Trends in freshwater fish


Urban stream water quality


Value of water resources for hydroelectric generation

Groundwater quality


Lake water quality


River water quality for:

  • Macroinvertebrate community index
  • clarity
  • E.coli
  • nitrogen
  • phosphorus

Trends in nitrogen leaching from agriculture


Geographic pattern of agricultural nitrate leaching


Geographic pattern of natural river flows


Groundwater physical stocks


Streambed sedimentation


Wetland extent


Location and extent of aquifers


Participation in recreational fishing


Freshwater pests