Water Quality

Otago has some of the best water quality in New Zealand and we want to keep it that way. We assess water quality through our network of monitoring sites which measure the state and trends of water quality around the region.


During the summer months (December to March) we carry out recreational water quality monitoring at 25 popular swimming spots around Otago (rivers, lakes, and beaches). The results of this weekly monitoring are available on LAWA.  Samples are taken every Monday with the results being available on Wednesday. 

ORC also carries out monthly State of the Environment (SOE) water quality testing around Otago. SOE monitoring results are based on five years' of data taken when the flow site was at or below median flow.

Together these measures give us a short-term and a long-term view of the health of our waterways. To find out more about your local waterways, follow the links below.


Regional Swimming Targets for Otago

In Otago, 82% of our rivers and lakes are swimmable (as defined by the NPSFM). That said, we’re not going letting that success get in the way of making more progress! We’ve set our own regional targets and are working toward making sure 90% of rivers and 98% of lakes are swimmable by 2030, and 95% of rivers and 100% of lakes are swimmable by 2040. Read more

Back to top
Online Maps & Data: