Monitoring Programme

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Monitoring Programme

Groundwater well with recorder attached to record quantity.

The Resource Management Act requires councils to monitor the state of the environment within their region.

The aim of monitoring Marlborough's groundwater resources are:

  • Identify spatial and temporal trends in aquifer behaviour
  • Provide benchmarks for consent compliance
  • Maintain real time information to Council and community
  • Provide data for reviewing effectiveness of the district plan

Groundwater quantity

Council maintains 28 wells as part of Council's groundwater quantity network. Recorders are positioned in the wells and automatically keep record of:

  • Aquifer level (at 15 minute intervals)
  • Water temperature (some sites only)
  • Electrical conductivity (at some wells near the coast)

There are also a number of sites sampled for specific projects that do not form part of the permanent network. An example of this is the monitoring work carried out at various spring-fed streams to identify the relationship between groundwater and surface water flows.

Groundwater quality

Samples are taken from a number of wells across the region as part of various local and national groundwater quality programmes which are summarised in the table below.

Programme Sampling frequency Number of sites Parameters

State of the environment

Quarterly 23

Range of chemical and physical parameters

Selected sites are also sampled annually for microbes, isotopes, and pesticides

Coastal sentinel Summer 6 Sodium and chloride
National pesticides 4-yearly 20 58 herbicides/fungicides/insecticides
Sample taken from Groundwater staff to assess well water quality.

The samples taken are analysed at external laboratories. The results of these samples help us to determine:

  • The origin or evolution of groundwater
  • Characteristics in aquifer behaviour
  • Land use impacts
  • Health risks of drinking groundwater

A number of other groundwater quality parameters or tools such as isotopes are used or measured as part of other specific projects.