Lake Taupo long-term monitoring programme 2014-2015
Author: Peit Verburg and Anathea Albert (NIWA)
Waikato Regional Council began monitoring the water quality of Lake Taupo in 1994. The large size of the lake means that specialized equipment and procedures are needed to survey its condition. Furthermore, its generally excellent water quality means that non-standard laboratory methods must be used to analyse samples collected from the lake. This report outlined results from the 2014-15 monitoring period.
The water quality of the open waters of Lake Taupo is generally excellent. However, levels of algae in September 2014 were the highest seen since 1994. Over the past 21 years there has been a slight increase in average levels of algae in the lake (at a rate of 0.8% per year). Concentrations of the plant nutrients total nitrogen and total phosphorus have also increased, at rates of 1.6% per year and 0.6% per year, respectively. Some of these changes were anticipated in the Waikato Regional Plan (section 3.10), and are consistent with legacy effects in groundwater in the catchment which are expected to eventually stabilize at year 2000 levels.
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