Water management research

Research expertise

Water resources, quality and safety

Our team studies soil-water dynamics, nutrient runoff, surface and ground water hydrology, and soil-water management including irrigation and drainage systems. We develop methods and models to assess water use, water productivity and water footprinting in primary production processes. We identify processes to attenuate pollutants moving from agricultural landscapes to water. We develop alternative cost-effective solutions for treatment of rural wastewaters.


Wastewater management

We have expertise in removing pollutants from wastewater with a focus on algal-based wastewater treatment in ponds (e.g. wastewater stabilization ponds, and high rate algal ponds). We are investigating new methods for pathogen treatment and phosphate removal including algal phosphate uptake from effluent (RC3). This includes pathogen treatment as well as solutions for community wastewater upgrades.


Spatial ecology

We are integrating science and data management solutions to effectively manage and conserve New Zealand’s natural resources, including studying the spatial distribution and movement of marine, fluvial and coastal environments and species, and modelling the effect of human actions on the environment.


Māori environmental management

We have a strong environmental focus in research and projects aligned to the natural resources of Aotearoa/New Zealand. In particular we are researching ecological and environmental systems, especially in regard to flora and fauna issues and management. Freshwater, coastal resources, and natural resource policy as it pertains to Māori interests are key focus areas of research and education.


Freshwater ecosystem management and modelling

We apply research in theoretical ecology and ecological modelling to freshwater ecosystem management, conservation and bioassessment and investigate systems to solve water-management issues.


Freshwater ecology

We do pure and applied research on the biological, physical and chemical characteristics of inland water bodies. We focus on river, stream and lake fauna, and how we can maintain or enhance that fauna in the face of rapidly expanding human demand for freshwater.


Fluvial processes

Our research in fluvial processes focuses on river channel dynamics, and sediment flux, together with their interaction with freshwater ecology; alluvial histories and catchment response to environmental change.This includes understanding and extending flood histories; slope-channel coupling and catchment connectivity. Pure research in these areas is applied to address river management issues.



Find programmes with a research element, including the PhD.

Research degrees

Search for an expert

Search our staff database for an expert or area of expertise.

Expertise search

Research projects


Drinking water quality indicators

Environmental Health Indicators New Zealand, a Massey initiative, provides indicators of current water drinking quality in New Zealand.

Find out more

Recreational water health quality indicators

Environmental Health Indicators New Zealand, a Massey initiative, provides indicators of current recreational water health quality in New Zealand.

Find out more


Research centres

Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre

Massey University's Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre engages in teaching and research on soils, fertilisers and environmental issues in agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre

Infectious Disease Research Centre (IDReC)

The Centre engages in applied research concerning multi-host pathogens and fundamental research regarding pathogen evolution and disease emergence. We cover the spectrum of population-based infectious disease research from microbiology, through population genetics, epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, disease ecology, statistics, mathematical modelling, and public health.

Infectious Disease Research Centre

Innovative River Solutions

The Innovative River Solutions Centre is a hub of expertise on river catchments and provides integrated solutions for the management of New Zealand’s dynamic river systems.

We have staff with expertise in several of the science disciplines within river catchments.

Innovative River Solutions

New Zealand Life Cycle Management Centre

The Centre is a collaboration between Massey University, AgResearch, Landcare Research, Plant & Food Research and SCION. It works to build capability in life cycle management (LCM) by providing education, training and research to LCM professionals to meet increasing consumer demand for green metrics on products.

Find out more

You may also be interested in research in

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey