Integrated Catchment Management


Tadmor River

Tadmor River


High quality freshwater is one of New Zealand’s most important natural assets and a resource that is at enormous risk. Good management of water resources requires a firm understanding of the effects of adjacent land management on water quantity and quality, the equitable allocation of water for out-of-stream and in-stream uses, and potential connections between freshwater and coastal ecosystems.

Information on the holistic management of water resources for large and complicated catchments, like the Motueka, is very limited. Rainfall, geology and land use varies across the catchment therefore information collected in one area is not necessarily applicable in another.

Particular concerns have been raised over the condition of the Motueka River catchment in the last few years. Annual surveys of brown trout over the last 6 years have consistently shown that the observed number of adult trout were about one third of the numbers seen in 1985. The reasons for this decline are unclear but could relate to changes in physical habitat suitability for adult trout in the main river, spawning success in the tributaries, and/or declines in food availability.

Water allocation from the catchment is also coming under increased scrutiny. Consequently, important decisions need to be made regarding the amount of water that can be abstracted from the river without having harmful effects on aquatic life in the river.

This research will provide information to enable informed decision-making on issues that will affect freshwater resource management at large scales.

Researchable Issues

Research Areas

,Motueka River dishcarging into Tasman Bay Conducting riparian river surveys

,Motueka River dishcarging into Tasman Bay

Conducting riparian river surveys

Publications (Selection)

Year Title File Size
2004 Soil water, runoff and streamflow generation.  
2011 The Sherry River – a Success Story 2.97MB
2010 Movement and mortality of adult brown trout in the Motupiko River, New Zealand: effects of water temperature, flow and flooding. pdf       265KB
2010 Contrasting responses to catchment modification among a range of functional and structural indicators of river ecosystem health. doc       37KB
2002 Modelling groundwater recharge and discharge in Motueka catchment.  
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Presentations (Selection)

Year Title File Size
2003 Application of SWAT in a large mountainous catchment with high spatial variability.  
2002 How does the Motueka River affect the values and productivity of Tasman Bay?  
2006 Stakeholder involvement in Integrated Catchment Management – Motueka, New Zealand pdf       903KB
2001 The upper Motueka water resource management project.  
2009 Improving Water Governance –
Stakeholder Views Of Five South Island Catchment Management Processes
pdf       688KB
More presentations on this topic »
All ICM presentations »

Primary Contacts:

Image - Tim Davie Tim Davie  EmailSend email to tim.davie
Phone: 03 372 7084
Fax: +64 (0)3 365 3194
More details»
Environment Canterbury
Hydrology & modelling, surface water resource management
Image - Andrew Fenemor Andrew Fenemor  EmailSend email to fenemora
Phone: 03 545 7710
More details»
Landcare Research
ICM programme management; local liaison; resource management; hydrology and water resource management
Image - Roger Young Roger Young  EmailSend email to roger.young
Phone: (03) 548 2319
Fax: (03) 546 9464
Cawthron Institute
Land/water interactions, water quality, fisheries, river health
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Page last updated Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Research areas

Cow crossings and water quality Dating groundwater Faecal bacteria in the Motueka River Fine sediment: bringing the geomorphology and biology together Flood gate design and management Gravel extraction Links between scientific and cultural indicators of river health Mechanisms of groundwater recharge Modelling water quantity and quality River bank styles River monitoring Sediment generation, delivery and impacts Sherry River Community Stream health – fish Stream health – invertebrates Stream health – productivity Thalweg Mapping: A measure of habitat quality Trout tracking Upper Motueka water resources Valuing water Water augmentation

Research Highlight

FRST research reviews School children go fishing Sherry River water quality improvement Stream health in the Motueka catchment Where do trout go?