New in 2014, a unique and powerful way for communities to gather and share information about their waterways.
LAWA is the short name for Land, Air, Water, Aotearoa, a web tool designed to give the public access to data on the quality of New Zealand’s freshwater. It’s a collaboration between the highly regarded Cawthron Institute, Massey University, New Zealand’s Ministry for the Environment (MfE) and our regional and unitary councils (responsible for managing environmental resources at local level). Funding is aided through the Tindall Foundation.
Check out the LAWA website and if you’re in New Zealand, send in your observations, so we can keep updating – and learning from – our water story.
Here’s a screenshot showing just a sample of data for a stream in my city:
Note: Black disc is an easy way to quantify water clarity. How far away can a black target – the black disc – be seen through the water. The further away you can see the disc, the better the water clarity. Water clarity is essentially a description of light penetration and visual clarity: Light penetration is important as it controls the amount of light in the water needed for aquatic plants to grow. Visual clarity is an indication of how much suspended sediment – or soil – is in the water.