Groundwater is a source of recharge for lakes, rivers, and wetlands.  It's found underground in the spaces and cracks in the soil, sand, and rock and it moves slowly through geologic formations called aquifers.

General groundwater reports

Dunstan Rohe Science Summary

PDF | 935 KB

Catlins LWRP Report Summary

October 2023

PDF | 644 KB

Water Quality Report Card 2017 to 2022

PDF | 1 MB

State and Trends of Rivers, Lakes, and Groundwater in Otago 2017-2022

May 2023

PDF | 8 MB

State of the Environment Groundwater Quality in Otago report 2021

March 2021

ISBN: 978-0-908324-68-2

PDF | 12 MB

Bore specifications in Otago

May 2024

PDF | 1 MB

A guide for drillers and service providers

Groundwater resource management review of the South Otago Basins

November 2017

978-0-478-37691-3

PDF | 4 MB

The groundwater basins in South Otago, including Pomahaka, Clydevale, Wairuna, and Kuriwao, are mainly made up of weathered rock and clay-bound gravels. These basins have aquifers managed as unconfined systems, with different water flow rates and characteristics. Changes in management and protection measures are suggested based on these findings.

Investigation into the Wakatipu Basin Aquifers

July 2014

978-0-478-37673-9

PDF | 1 MB

The Otago Region Council (ORC) is responsible for managing Otago’s water resources on behalf of the Crown and the community. The basin investigations that ORC conducts from time to time for the 20-plus groundwater areas around Otago are important building blocks in delivering informed water resource management.

Integrated water resource management for the Benger Burn and Ettrick Basin Aquifer

March 2014

978-0-478-37668-5

PDF | 1 MB

The purpose of this report is to investigate the flows required to maintain the habitat of the fish species in the Benger Burn and to recommend a sustainable allocation limit for the Ettrick Basin Aquifer.

Cromwell Terrace Aquifer Study

October 2012

978-0-478-37650-0

PDF | 1 MB

The Cromwell Terrace Aquifer, close to Lake Dunstan, is an important water source formed from merging gravel terraces. The aquifer's water level rose significantly after Lake Dunstan was created in 1993. Testing showed that water moves easily through the aquifer in the Cromwell area.

The South Dunedin Coastal Aquifer and Effect of Sea Level Fluctuations

October 2012

978-0-478-37648-7

PDF | 1 MB

South Dunedin was originally coastal land reclaimed for urban use, with a shallow water table close to the surface, comprising sandy aquifers connected to the sea, making it susceptible to rising sea levels, as confirmed by recent drilling investigations and groundwater modeling.

Alexandra Groundwater Basin Allocation Study

September 2012

978-0-478-37646-3

PDF | 1 MB

The Alexandra groundwater basin includes four aquifers situated in glacial outwash, alluvial fans, or flood plains, with the Earnscleugh Terrace and Dunstan Flats aquifers originating from glacial outwash but differing in their proximity to the Clutha River.

Groundwater Exploration in the Ida Valley

March 2012

978-0-478-37633-3

PDF | 1 MB

This study has successfully used the aerial geophysical data to delineate groundwater drilling targets in the Ida Valley. Exploratory drilling into the Tertiary sediments has shown the existence of productive groundwater-bearing horizons in the south-western part of the Poolburn catchment.

Rainfall recharge assessment for Otago groundwater basins

December 2011

978-0-478-37621-0

PDF | 1 MB

Rainfall is a primary source of groundwater replenishment in Otago, with this report estimating recharge for 13 groundwater basins to inform allocation assessments in the Regional Plan: Water, utilizing a soil moisture model with data from NIWA and Landcare Research, archived in ORC's Hilltop database.

Bendigo and Tarras Groundwater Allocation Study

December 2010

978-0-478-37601-2

PDF | 1 MB

The Bendigo-Tarras groundwater basin faces increasing demand for irrigation water in its dry climate. Groundwater is found within Quaternary and Tertiary sediments, with varying permeability levels. Geophysical data, including cross-sections and spatial maps, helped define the basin's depth and identify low permeability silts underlying the area.

The Bendigo–Tarras groundwater basin Summary 2010

2010

PDF | 1 MB

The Bendigo-Tarras groundwater basin faces increasing demand for irrigation water in its dry climate. Groundwater is found within Quaternary and Tertiary sediments, with varying permeability levels. Geophysical data, including cross-sections and spatial maps, helped define the basin's depth and identify low permeability silts underlying the area.

Lower Taieri Groundwater Allocation Study

August 2010

1-877265-95-0

PDF | 3 MB

This technical study assesses environmental impacts using available data, offering insights for future policy decisions following comprehensive public consultation on socio-economic factors. Groundwater pumping in the Lower Taieri Basin.

Groundwater Lower Taieri Basin Summary Report - December 2009

December 2009

PDF | 402 KB

This summary covers the context and findings of an investigation that was conducted in 2008 and 2009 for the Lower Taieri Basin.

Groundwater Quality - State of Environment Summary 2007

April 2009

PDF | 465 KB

The council monitors 101 bores throughout the region. The water quality results vary depending on location, age and depth of the bore and connection with surface water.

Groundwater Quality - State of Environment Summary April 2009

April 2009

PDF | 703 KB

Groundwater levels (groundwater hydrographs) give a good indication of the state of groundwater quantity. Looking for long-term trends in the groundwater levels indicates if a system is reaching its sustainable abstraction limit.

Groundwater Quality - State of Environment Summary 2008

December 2008

PDF | 419 KB

Otago Regional Council (ORC) manages groundwater quality in terms of its responsibility under the Resource Management Act and has been monitoring ambient groundwater quality in groundwater intensive areas throughout Otago since 1995.

North Otago Volcanic Aquifer Study

December 2008

1-877265-69-1

PDF | 1 MB

The groundwater bearing volcanic marine sediments surrounding Oamaru have been classified under a variety of names and hydrogeological schemes. This study has chosen to group the variously associated sediments, such as tuff, limestone, basalt, siltstone and diatomite, into a single aquifer unit named the North Otago Volcanic Aquifer (the Aquifer).

Groundwater Allocation of the Ettrick Basin

December 2006

1-877265-42-X

PDF | 802 KB

This report summarises knowledge about groundwater in the Ettrick Basin, and recommends the introduction of integrated water management to achieve sustainable management of both the aquifer and to provide protection of the Benger Burn.

Groundwater Quality in Kingston and Glenorchy

August 2006

1-877265-35-7

PDF | 2 MB

This report provides an analysis of groundwater quality monitoring in the Kingston and Glenorchy areas over the 2002-2003 period, as well as results of preliminary groundwater investigations by J K Lindqvist Research for the Otago Regional Council during 1996-1997. Houses in Kingston have individual wells for water supply whereas Glenorchy has a community water supply now, which is sourced from one well adjacent to the Buckler Burn.

Water requirements for irrigation throughout the Otago Region

October 2006

L05128/2

PDF | 2 MB

This work has been undertaken on behalf of the Otago Regional Council to provide water requirements for all potentially irrigated areas in Otago, based on the amount of water needed to efficiently irrigate a range of crops under different climatic and soil conditions and to provide a daily time series of irrigation demand for the different regions so that the demand can be compared to available water supply to determine excesses and shortfalls.

Groundwater Allocation of the Alexandra Basin

October 2005

1-877265-07-1

PDF | 1 MB

This report summarises knowledge about groundwater in the Alexandra Basin and recommends further work focused on improving water allocation.

Dunedin Groundwater monitoring, spatial observations and forecast conditions under sea-level rise Dec 2023

December 2023

GNS Science Report 2023/43

PDF | 25 MB

State of the Environment Groundwater Quality in Otago report 2021

March 2021

ISBN: 978-0-908324-68-2

PDF | 12 MB

State and Trends of Rivers, Lakes, and Groundwater in Otago 2017-2022

May 2023

PDF | 8 MB

Context analysis to inform catchment management plan 2023

June 2024

PDF | 4 MB

This report provides an overview of the current natural and regulatory context that will inform the development of the Toitū Te Hakapupu – Pleasant River Catchment Management Plan (CMP).

Trigger level wells – summary of information & recommendations for the LWRP Nov 2023

November 2023

PDF | 1 MB

Concrete wash - Preventing stormwater pollution

June 2024

PDF | 1 MB

If you or your business work with concrete, lime or cement products, this guide helps you to make sure your activities do not result in air, land or water pollution.

Land and water regional plan groundwater reports

Page last updated 13 July 2024.