Splash image

Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA)

Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) is New Zealand’s trusted source of up-to-date environmental data. LAWA provides the latest beach, river, and lake water quality monitoring results to Swim Guide through automated data exchange. LAWA’s affiliation with Swim Guide helps visitors to New Zealand get the information they need to stay safe while swimming in the country’s great outdoors.

LAWA was launched in 2014 with the objective to improve access to environmental data and information collected by responsible organizations. New Zealand’s 16 regional councils and unitary authorities run comprehensive summer recreational water quality monitoring programmes and LAWA makes the data they collect available to the public.

The LAWA website topic ‘Can I swim here?’ displays information for over 700 popular swim spots. Available information includes monitoring results, local weather, tides, surf, water temperature, flow rate, and whether the site is patrolled by lifeguards. ‘Can I swim here?’ also lists site recreational activities and facilities.

In addition to swim spot monitoring results, LAWA shows real-time and historical data for a range of other environmental topics spanning land, air, and water. There are also factsheets to help people who want to better understand environmental monitoring in the New Zealand context and this includes a factsheet on recreational water quality monitoring.

LAWA is a partnership project between New Zealand’s 16 regional councils and unitary authorities, Ministry for the Environment, Statistics New Zealand, and Cawthron Institute. It has also been supported by the Tindall Foundation and Massey University. Find out more about the partners that make the project possible.

Have you noticed pollution at your local beach? Let us know.