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Environmental Science Team

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Environmental Science

HBRC’s environmental science work is essential for the management of our region's natural resources. 

The Environment Science team is involved in many investigations and monitoring programmes that provide information to assist with HBRC's decision-making and policy development, with farm productivity and ecological restoration projects, and with HBRC’s state of environment reporting. 

Some of Hawke’s Bay’s science monitoring was established many decades ago - the rainfall monitoring sites in the 1930s, the river level monitoring in the 1950s and groundwater monitoring in the 1960s. Advances in technology now allow us to monitor a wider range of environmental conditions, more frequently, more precisely, and at a lower cost, such as the HAWQi coastal monitoring buoy offshore of Tangoio.

We also rely on data collected and provided by farmers, water users, research organisations and other agencies. 

Current research for TANK

HBRC has a major science programme underway, which is improving our understanding of what’s affecting water quality and quantity.  This is a big investment for ratepayers.

We are increasing our water monitoring sites and building a detailed picture of how land is being managed across the region, including irrigation, the control of stock, waste and storm water. In 2015/16 alone the HBRC science team collected over 9 million pieces of environmental monitoring data. 

Some of this data will be used in a 3D computer model we are building to understand how our streams and rivers interact with the Heretaunga aquifer, and what impacts our use of water is having. This project is the first time any NZ council has used a ‘supercomputer’ to understand the environment!  This knowledge is being used in the development of the TANK Plan change, looking at better management of land and water on the Greater Heretaunga and Ahuriri catchments.

Find out more

The environmental science team provides technical reports, and more regular information through monthly emailed state of environment reports – available through this website. A State of Environment summary report is published every five years (last published 2009-2013).

Key areas of focus: 

 You can find out more in the related pages below.

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