View all publications

Assessment of the eutrophication susceptibility of New Zealand’s estuaries

Publication date:  May 2019
Publication reference number:  CR 343

This report provides information on the susceptibility to eutrophication of coastal water bodies to nutrient loads from fresh water. Results are based on national modelling to estimate current estuarine nitrogen concentrations (to 2008) and compared to estimated pre-human conditions to understand how human-induced eutrophication has changed New Zealand’s coastal waters.

A high susceptibility does not indicate that an estuary is or was eutrophic but indicates that nutrient concentrations and flushing times provide suitable conditions for eutrophication to occur.

Eutrophication is the result of nutrients built up in a body of water, frequently due to run-off from land, which causes dense growth of aquatic plants or algae.