Tools to help detect improvements in freshwater indicators in rivers, lakes and groundwater.

WebApp Dashboards

A considerable amount of effort and expense goes into running a freshwater monitoring programme. How can you be confident that it will be able to detect future improvements in water quality?

The purpose of this interactive WebApp is to provide a tool for informing the design of freshwater monitoring programmes.

You can use the online WebApp to identify where monitoring would be best targeted, how many sites should be monitored and how often and how long they should be monitored to robustly detect freshwater improvements resulting from land-based mitigation actions. The tool can also be used to assess the suitability of existing monitoring programmes to detect freshwater improvements.

The WebApp contains separate ‘dashboards’ for monitoring river/stream water quality and ecological health, lake water quality and groundwater quality. 

The WebApp presents results visually in an interactive map making it easier to visualise and interpret results at the catchment scale. The interactive maps can be interrogated by clicking on individual monitoring sites, stream reaches, lakes or groundwater wells. The WebApp also generates a downloadable CSV file that contains the data underpinning the interactive map.

Download the draft WebApp User Guide.

Who is the WebApp for?

The purpose of the WebApp is to help anyone involved in freshwater improvement actions to design a monitoring plan that is able to detect improvement in river, lakes and groundwater.

The WebApp can be used by:

  • Councils
  • Iwi
  • Co-governance entities
  • Catchment groups
  • Freshwater stewards

How does the WebApp work?

The online WebApp interface allows you to define a level of expected reductions in the losses of the four main contaminants (nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and E. coli) from various types of land use and land cover within a catchment, and translates this into predicted water quality improvements in a river system or lake. Alternatively, you can directly define the level of water quality improvement you are hoping to see in a river, lake or groundwater system.

The WebApp gives an indication of the likelihood of detecting the improvement in key water quality and ecological indicators, based on where, how often, and for how many years you plan to monitor. You can vary the design of the monitoring programme to increase the likelihood of detecting the improvement.

This WebApp is designed to be viewed on a desktop or laptop computer with a larger screen size and is not fully functional on mobile devices.

Our WebApp is based on extensive analysis and modelling of nationally available freshwater data. For detailed information on the data, assumptions, modelling steps and methods, and examples of national-scale applications, the user is invited to refer to the following publications, or contact the corresponding author(s) directly.

Download draft WebApp User Guide here

WebApp Dashboards

The WebApp contains three dashboards relating to different freshwater environments: rivers, lakes and groundwater. Within each dashboard there are modules to help design or review monitoring programmes for detecting improvements. Factsheets have been developed with information on how to monitor the freshwater quality and ecological health indicators.

Data Attribution List

The following datasets were used in the development of this app.


This WebApp is currently under active development and designed to function on a computer as opposed to a phone screen. If you have any feedback or concerns, please send us feedback here