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.

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Subject: Rivers and Lakes | Techniques and Approaches: Theory development
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Cited articles

Ausseil, A. G. E., Dymond, J. R., Kirschbaum, M. U. F., Andrew, R. M., and Parfitt, R. L.: Assessment of multiple ecosystem services in New Zealand at the catchment scale, Environ. Modell. Softw., 43, 37–48, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2013.01.006, 2013.
Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC): Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality, Volume 1: The Guidelines, National Water Quality Management Strategy, Paper No. 4, Onehunga, 314 pp., 2000.
Ballantine, D. J. and Davies-Colley, R. J.: Water quality trends in New Zealand rivers: 1989–2009, Environ. Monit. Assess., 186, 1939–1950, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-013-3508-5, 2014.
Ballantine, D. J., Hughes, A. O., and Davies-Colley, R. J.: Mutual relationships of suspended sediment, turbidity and visual clarity in New Zealand rivers, in: Proceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, edited by: Xu, Y. J., New Orleans, 265–271, 2014.
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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.