Groundwater is a valuable natural resource that is essential to our everyday lives. It sustains our rivers and spring-fed streams, lakes and wetlands. It also provides around half of our drinking water supply, and over 40% of the water used for agricultural irrigation comes from groundwater.
The way we use groundwater and manage our land has the potential to reduce the quality of this precious water resource. Water is becoming increasingly scarce in some catchments, while water quality is deteriorating. Protecting our natural groundwater resources presents significant challenges — at Aqualinc, it is our mission to address these challenges.
What We Do
The Aqualinc team understands the pressure to get water resource management right so we can protect groundwater quality while managing the impacts of climate change and the requirements of primary industries. Our research spans every aspect of water resource management, from developing efficient irrigation systems and effective land-based effluent treatment systems, to producing groundwater modelling for managing groundwater allocation.
We work across four key areas to protect our groundwater resources:
Groundwater quality protection
Sustainable groundwater allocation
Managing groundwater allocation is an important balancing act. Through a mixture of research and consultancy, Aqualinc are well placed to answer a wide range of questions for our clients, such as:
What impact does increasing amounts of groundwater abstraction have on the flow regime and ecosystem function of groundwater-fed rivers and streams?
What impact does increasing abstraction have on the reliability of water supplies to individual groundwater users, and on the socio-economic wellbeing of communities?
How does the community decide how much groundwater to allocate for abstraction, and how much to leave to sustain groundwater-dependent ecosystems?
Potential influences on groundwater abstraction levels need to be evaluated from paddock scale (or smaller) through to catchment scale, while factoring in financial impacts and the socio-economic wellbeing of all New Zealanders.
Climate change impacts
At Aqualinc, we provide our clients with research and consultancy services for modelling long-term impacts of climate change, determining the real-time effects on groundwater levels and evaluating the changing irrigation needs of New Zealanders. We also consider how the multi-layered impacts of climate change may require variations to future water allocation, as well as how long-term water management strategies can minimise the impact on the New Zealand economy while protecting its water and land quality.
Ground source heat pumps
We work with our clients to evaluate the potential of ground source heat pump systems across New Zealand, conducting hydrogeological investigations to determine their viability. We can also support our clients with the consenting process required for installing a ground source heat pump system.
Work with Us
Finding water resource management solutions that protect our groundwater while helping New Zealanders flourish is central to who we are as a business. Here are just some of the things we assist our clients with:
Determining environmentally sustainable levels of groundwater abstraction
Developing models for managing groundwater allocation
Establishing source water risk management area (source protection zone) delineation
Understanding the long-term effects to groundwater quality of irrigating treated effluent onto land
Assessing and managing salt-water intrusion risks
Conducting aquifer tests
Conducting pump and well tests
Assessing the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on our environment and infrastructure
Evaluating the potential for geothermal solutions such as ground source heat pumps, including hydrogeological investigations and consent applications
To find out more about the research and client work we do to protect New Zealand’s groundwater resources, please do get in touch.