Examining the sediment-water interface of Lake Hayes. Photo courtesy of Marc Schallenberg

Established in 2016, Catchments Otago recognises that effective water management cannot be achieved in isolation from equitable and appropriate land management. Comprising researchers from diverse disciplines, this University of Otago Research Theme explores management strategies considering environmental, social and economic aspects.

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Our focus

Catchments Otago will facilitate information sharing and direct collaboration between Governmental Authorities, Lake communities and Otago University researchers to help guide regional and local land and water management strategies. As New Zealand’s fastest growing urban areas, the Central Otago ‘Alpine’ Lake catchments of Hawea, Wakatipu, Wanaka and Hayes face complex developmental challenges across environmental, social and economic disciplines. 


Catchments OTago seeks to

  • Co-ordinate and enhance University of Otago capacity in the Central Otago Lakes region.
  • Understand community needs.
  • Inventory key resources.
  • Undertake projects to ensure efficient, equitable and sustainable resource use.
  • Deliver tools for improved freshwater management for target communities.