Articles | Volume 21, issue 2
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1149–1171, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-1149-2017
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1149–1171, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-1149-2017

Research article 23 Feb 2017

Research article | 23 Feb 2017

River water quality changes in New Zealand over 26 years: response to land use intensity

Jason P. Julian et al.

Data sets

Twenty years of New Zealand's National Rivers Water Quality Network: Benefits of careful design and consistent operation (https://niwa.co.nz/freshwater/water-quality-monitoring-and-advice/national-river-water-quality-network-nrwqn) R. J. Davies-Colley, D. G. Smith, R. C. Ward, G. G. Bryers, G. B. McBride, J. M. Quinn, and M. R. Scarsbrook https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00554.x

New Zealand Disturbance K. M. de Beurs http://tethys.dges.ou.edu/NZ_disturbance/#

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Short summary
New Zealand is a natural laboratory for investigating water quality responses to land use intensity because it has one of the highest rates of agricultural intensification globally over recent decades. We interpreted water quality state and trends (1989–2014) of 77 river sites across NZ. We show that the greatest long-term negative impacts on river water quality have been increased cattle densities and legacy nutrients from intensively managed grasslands and plantation forests.