Water Quality

​​Water quality of lakes within the Lakes A Zone is of importance to locals and visitors, regionally and nationally. The lakes play a significant role in tourism, one of Rotorua’s top economic drivers. Water quality determines a lake’s ecological health and usability. The Lakes A Zone recognises these values and aims to maintain good water quality and where necessary, enhance it by ensuring appropriate land use.

Lakes within the Lakes A Zone are:
  • Lake Ōkāreka
  • Lake Ōkaro
  • Lake Ōkataina
  • Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake)
  • Lake Rotomahana
  • Lake Tarawera
  • Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake)

Land use and water quality

A direct link exists between land use and water quality. Land use can affect water quality in a number of ways through watersheds which carry nutrients and other contaminants in catchments to water bodies. Lakes within the Lakes A Zone generally have well vegetated catchments which help buffer these effects. Objectives, policies and rules of the Lakes A Zone encourage re-vegetation, retention and enhancement of vegetation, in particular indigenous vegetation. The challenge is to achieve viable land use while ensuring ecological health is maintained or enhanced.

Water also carries nutrients and other contaminants through the ground to underground water stores which then feed into lakes, rivers and streams. Water exchange can happen between surface lakes and underground water (groundwater) and vice versa. At this stage groundwater flows are not monitored in the Lakes A area.

Riparian and wetland areas are of particular importance as they have a vital role to play in improving water quality, by removing nutrients from water. Ecologically they provide habitat for a number of species. Esplanade strips and reserves are usually in riparian areas, or lake and stream edges, and are places for recreation.

​Monitoring Indicators ​Availability ​Updated
Changes in land use in the Lakes A Zone​ Available ​5-yearly
​Vegetation in Riparian areas of Lakes A Zone Available ​5-yearly
Lake water quality

Lake water quality is monitored by Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Monitoring results reported here are limited to those lakes within the Lakes A Zone and are a summary of findings. For full reports and further information about lake water monitoring please visit the Bay of Plenty Regional Council website.

Monitoring Indicators ​Availablity ​Updated
Lake water quality of Lakes A Zone Lakes​ Available ​Annually


Page reviewed: 06 Jan 2020 9:52am