Are Are Creek Gravels Aquifer
Are Are Creek is a Northbank tributary of the Wairau River which drains the lower Kaituna Valley, north-west of Renwick.
The upper sedimentary layers of the valley at Kaituna were deposited by Are Are Creek and host a shallow groundwater system known as the Are Are Creek Gravels Aquifer.
A deeper groundwater system known as the Pelorus Gravels Aquifer was deposited when the Pelorus River flowed into the Wairau Valley, rather than its current course to the north.
Relatively little is known about this system so far as most wells are too shallow to intercept it.
The conceptual diagram below represents the latest understanding of the groundwater systems below the Kaituna area as far north as Okaramio.
Are Are Creek gains flow in a downstream direction which means it relies on inflow from groundwater to maintain channel flow. Surprisingly, the source of recharge for local aquifers and wells, even relatively close to the Wairau River, is local rainfall and run-off from Northbank catchments.
Surface and groundwater is used for a variety of purposes including drinking, crop irrigation, milking shed washdown and stock supply. Previously a salmon hatchery had also used the clear, cool local groundwater.