Although New Zealand has the reputation of maintaining a pristine environment, 26 percent of its rivers are no longer swimmable due to waterborne pathogens, and high concentrations of contaminants such as nitrogen, phosphorous and pesticides.
Stanford researchers will develop a pilot freshwater sustainability policy evaluation model for the watershed containing Auckland. Freshwater sustainability policies to be evaluated include impacts of future water allocation infrastructure, pollution controls, water treatment, land-use changes, water tariffs, environmental regulations, and private versus Maori water rights. This work, in collaboration with academics and government scientists in New Zealand, has the ultimate goal of extending the model to the entire country.
Steven Gorelick, Professor of Earth System Science
Kate Maher, Professor of Earth System Science