Real time data

Collection of data by telemetry is an effective means for continuous monitoring of environmental changes. We have developed and installed a weather station and lake buoys for monitoring weather and water quality variables.

Automated water quality monitoring buoys

Figure 1. Rotorua lake monitoring buoy.

Chris McBride and the LERNZ team have completed design, construction and installation of a number of solar powered, high-frequency meteorology and water quality monitoring buoys. They transmit quarter-hourly data in near real-time for a range of variables. Meteorological variables include wind speed and direction, air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, and precipitation. Water quality variables include surface and bottom dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll fluorescence and phycocyanin (indicative of phytoplankton and cyanobacteria biomass respectively), water temperature at regular intervals through the water column, pH, light absorption and bottom nitrate concentration.

Environment Bay of Plenty has funded monitoring stations in the Rotorua lakes and the collection and management of data is in partnership with local company iQuest. So far, there are lake monitoring buoys on Lakes Rotorua, Rotoiti and Tarawera and there will soon be another on Lake Rotoehu.

Monitoring buoys have also been installed at Lakes Tutira and Waikaremoana in Hawkes Bay, and Lake Ngaroto in Waikato. Outside New Zealand, a buoy was installed on Lake Taihu, China in 2007 and there another deployed on a reservoir in Singapore in June 2010.

Installing telemetry at TaihuInside buoyInstalling buoy on Rotorua

The live data for the Rotorua lake stations and our weather station near Lake Tarawera and can be found on

Environment Bay of Plenty's telemetry webpage

The lake monitoring buoy on Lake Waikaremoana can be viewed using the guest login at:

To view the public data click the "Global data network guest" button, then go to Waikato University - Lake Monitoring. N.B. Should a message about the web security certificate appear, click continue.

Supporting organisations and further information