Groundwater science in New Zealand

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Forty percent of people in New Zealand rely on groundwater for their drinking water, yet that water is vulnerable to contamination. 

Groundwater quality and management

Through an in-depth, research driven understanding of groundwater contamination processes, our team of groundwater scientists help clients to identify and address issues associated with landuse intensification and its effects on groundwater quality. We also design tools for water managers to enable them to assess, predict and minimise the impacts of land use, and landuse changes, on groundwater quality. 

ESR undertakes a national assessment of pesticide in groundwater, mainly on behalf of regional and district councils. We also undertake more general, ‘on-request’ assessments of regional groundwater quality for councils.

Groundwater scientists working together 

ESR, along with groundwater scientists at GNS Science (external link) , Aqualinc (external link) and Lincoln Agritech (external link) are working together, building on each other’s strengths, to improve the understanding and quality of groundwater research. We call this the Groundwater Platform.

GroundsWell 2019

On Friday 5 April 2019, the Platform is sponsoring GroundsWell 2019, a symposium on groundwater management and research.  This symposium is bringing the best minds in the groundwater space together to look at groundwater science and what needs to be done to improve the understanding, information, tools and research capacity of groundwater in New Zealand.  

Registration for the symposium can be made on the Eventbrite website at GroundsWell Symposium 2019 (external link) .  

The day is focused around four issues:

  • He Waiora – Māori insights on groundwater management
  • Groundwater under pressure: characterisation, drivers/ pressures and stressors
  • Managing groundwater at the front line
  • Groundwater prediction and dynamic responses.

The last session of the day will then be interactive as we all work together to make sense of what we have heard and what needs to be done. 

Read the  GroundsWell-Symposium-5-April-2019-Programme-web.pdf  by clicking on the link. 

GroundsWell Newsletters 

Read about the work of each of these organisations in GroundsWell [PDF, 4 MB], the newsletter about groundwater science in New Zealand.

[PDF, 4 MB]

Read more about ESR's water expertise.