Groundwater-surface Water Interaction

This programme aims to develop a better understanding of groundwater-surface water interactions.


2005 - 2010

Funder: Internal funding & end-user partners
Contact: Chris Daughney

Traditionally, management of water resources has focused on surface water or groundwater as if they were separate entities. Effective land and water management requires a clear understanding of the linkages between groundwater and surface water as it applies to any given hydrologic setting. As development of land and water resources increases, it is apparent that development of either of these resources affects the quantity and quality of the other.

Rivers, wetlands, lakes and estuaries may act as recharge sources for an aquifer, or groundwater may discharge to surface water. Groundwater and surface water might be considered one resource and extraction of water from one system will reduce water availability in the other.

Programme Objectives

  1. Modelling groundwater-surface water interactions
    • Dynamic modelling system for the Waimea Plains
    • Steady-state groundwater flow model for Lake Poukawa catchment
  2. Hydrogeological and geophysical studies in the Ruataniwha Plains
    • Ruataniwha streambed conductance
    • Ruataniwha geophysics – surface and borehole
    • Ruataniwha aquifer properties
  3. Isotope hydrology
    • Ruataniwha isotope sampling
    • Measuring lakebed seepage using tracers
    • Determining hyporheic zone processes using Radon-22