Groundwater is found underground in the spaces and cracks in the soil, sand, and rock and it moves slowly through geologic formations called aquifers.

Groundwater levels can be recharged from surface water, and eventually it flows back to the surface at springs (for example Wanaka Spring, below), seeps or wetlands.

In Otago, groundwater can be extracted from bores for many reasons, including agricultural purposes and for drinking water.



What is ORC doing to monitor groundwater?

ORC monitors groundwater to ensure a continuing supply for groundwater dependent ecosystems and human use; and to avoid the undesired depletion of aquifers and a decline in the quality of groundwater.

Groundwater levels in Otago are monitored either continuously using automated sites or manually. Groundwater quality is monitored to determine the suitability of groundwater for drinking and other uses. Several key indicators are monitored which are normally grouped to physical, chemical, bacterial, and organic (pesticide). 


Groundwater publications and reports

For reports and publications about specific Otago aquifers please click here.


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