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3D Aquifer Mapping Project

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is taking to the sky to understand our aquifers better, using the latest airborne electromagnetic survey technology (SkyTEM).

Helicopter new 150dpiAbout the 3D Aquifer Mapping Project

Water management is crucially important for the future of the Hawke’s Bay region. The more we know about our aquifers and how they are working, the better our decision making can be.

We’re the first Council in the country to use the latest airborne electromagnetic survey technology (SkyTEM), which will give us a look at our aquifers, deep underground where we’ve never seen before.

The results from the survey will be a big asset and freely shared and available to tangata whenua, other councils and community groups.

We are grateful to Lincoln Agritech and SkyTEM Australia for sharing their helicopter video footage and photographs with us.

Regular flight updates

Our 3D aquifer mapping survey is well underway.

With the great weather we’ve been having, our pilots have covered more area than expected and are tracking ahead of schedule.

They finished surveying the Ruataniwha Plains block on Monday 27th January.

From Tuesday 28th January they will start surveying the Ngaruroro River Valley block and later in the day the Heretaunga Plains block area. They will be surveying these areas, plus the Heretaunga Offshore blocks from now until the 9th of February.

If the weather continues to be good it looks like the Poukawa/Otane Basins block will be surveyed from 11th of February finishing up around the 15th.

The pilots avoid infrastructure and exercise caution around stock, avoiding the area if they show signs of distress.

The flight plan below will be updated daily, and also posted to our facebook page here - all flights are  weather dependent on the day.

Date Area Map
Thursday 30/1/20 The helicopter will not be surveying on Thursday 30 January.  
Wednesday 29/1/20 Heretaunaga Plains Block in the north, alongSW-NE lines progressing south east throughout the day. This is likely to take the flight path over Maraekakaho, Roys Hill, Fernhill and Poraiti - weather permitting. 20200129 Rough Survey Area
Tuesday 28/1/20 Heretaunga Plains area, the Ngaruroro River Valley and Heretaunga Offshore blocks unnamed 2 
Monday 27/1/20 Ruataniwha Block progressing West throughout the day
imagejpeg 2
Sunday 26/1/20 Ruataniwha Plains block along SW-NE lines progressing West throughout the day. 20200126 Rough Survey Area
Saturday 25/1/20 Ruataniwha Plains block along SW-NE lines progressing West throughout the day 20200125 Rough Survey Area
Friday 24/1/20 Ruataniwha Plains block from the East towards the West 20200124 Rough Survey Area
Thursday 23/1/20 Ruataniwha Plains block, flying from the East towards the West unnamed 1
Wednesday 22/1/20 Ruataniwha Block from the East towards the West unnamed
Tuesday 21/1/20 Ruataniwha Block from the East towards the West 83382273 2771563936215131 4142796162321088512 o
Monday 20/1/20 Ruataniwha Block from the East towards the West 200120
Sunday 19/1/20 Ruataniwha Block from the East towards the West 190120

What will we learn from this project?

The results of the 3D aquifer mapping project will give the Regional Council a view of our aquifers we’ve never had before. At the moment we are relying on records from drilling, which provides detailed information but in limited locations.

We will be able to improve the management of groundwater resources in our region. Groundwater is very much in demand, and supply is limited, so the results are going to help us manage that resource more effectively.

Effective management is especially important when you consider that the stress the aquifers are already under is very likely to intensify with climate change.

The information and the models that we develop will be publicly available.

Find out more about the project in this video

 Our thanks to Lincoln Agritech and SkyTEM Australia for sharing their SkyTEM helicopter footage.

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