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Waitaki hydro scheme

Meridian manages about 50 percent of New Zealand's total hydro storage, operating the Waitaki hydro scheme and the Manapōuri hydro station.

The Waitaki hydro scheme includes eight power stations from Lake Tekapo to Lake Waitaki in the MacKenzie Basin. Meridian operates stations at Lake Ōhau, Benmore, Aviemore and Waitaki, and Genesis Energy operates the two stations linked by the Tekapo canal.

  • Lake Pūkaki lake levels

    The measurements are shown in metres above sea level. The minimum consented level of Lake Pūkaki is 518.0m. Levels above 532.5m are subject to minimum outflow requirements.

    Operation outside this range is allowable in compliance with the duration and return periods set out in the lake operating rules.

    These levels shown are provisional and are indicative only and for general information purposes, and do not try to show what actual levels will be at any particular time or place. If you intend to use the hydro lakes for any recreational or other purpose, please ensure that your activity can be safely carried out if the actual water levels change.

    Meridian voluntarily reports hydro spill as part of the Voluntary Hydro Spill reporting regime. Read a summary of our monthly and quarterly spill totals

    Lake Pūkaki lake levels Lake Level Graph
  • Lake Ōhau lake levels

    The measurements are shown in metres above sea level. The minimum consented level of Lake Ōhau is 519.45m. Levels above 520.4m result in water discharging over the outlet weir and into the Upper Ōhau River. Levels above 520.25m are subject to minimum outflow requirements via the Ōhau Canal.

    These levels shown are provisional and are indicative only and for general information purposes, and do not try to show what actual levels will be at any particular time or place. If you intend to use the hydro lakes for any recreational or other purpose, please ensure that your activity can be safely carried out if the actual water levels change.

    Meridian voluntarily reports hydro spill as part of the Voluntary Hydro Spill reporting regime. 

    Read a summary of our monthly and quarterly spill totals

    Lake Ōhau lake levels Lake Level Graph
  • Lake Benmore lake levels

    The measurements are shown in metres above sea level. The minimum consented level of Lake Benmore is 355.25m. Levels above 361.45m are subject to minimum outflow requirements.

    These levels shown are provisional and are indicative only and for general information purposes, and do not try to show what actual levels will be at any particular time or place. If you intend to use the hydro lakes for any recreational or other purpose, please ensure that your activity can be safely carried out if the actual water levels change.

    Meridian voluntarily reports hydro spill as part of the Voluntary Hydro Spill reporting regime. Read a summary of our monthly and quarterly spill totals

    Lake Benmore lake levels Lake Level Graph
  • Lake Aviemore lake levels

    The measurements are shown in metres above sea level. The minimum consented level of Lake Aviemore is 265.5m. Levels above 268.3m are subject to minimum outflow requirements.

    These levels shown are provisional and are indicative only and for general information purposes, and do not try to show what actual levels will be at any particular time or place. If you intend to use the hydro lakes for any recreational or other purpose, please ensure that your activity can be safely carried out if the actual water levels change.

    Meridian voluntarily reports hydro spill as part of the Voluntary Hydro Spill reporting regime. Read a summary of our monthly and quarterly spill totals

    Lake Aviemore lake levels Lake Level Graph
  • Lake Waitaki lake levels

    The measurements are shown in metres above sea level. The minimum consented level of Lake Waitaki is 227.0m. Levels above 230.8m result in water discharging over the concrete weir.

    These levels shown are provisional and are indicative only and for general information purposes, and do not try to show what actual levels will be at any particular time or place. If you intend to use the hydro lakes for any recreational or other purpose, please ensure that your activity can be safely carried out if the actual water levels change.

    Meridian voluntarily reports hydro spill as part of the Voluntary Hydro Spill reporting regime. Read a summary of our monthly and quarterly spill totals

    Lake Waitaki lake levels Lake Level Graph

Manapōuri power station

The Manapōuri power station is New Zealand's largest hydro station. Situated in Fiordland, the catchment area of Lakes Te Anau and Manapōuri receives some of New Zealand's highest rainfall. These two lakes are linked by a river system, providing water for generation at Manapōuri.

  • Lake Te Anau lake levels

    The measurements are shown in metres above sea level. The main operating range for Lake Te Anau (as defined by the Lake Level Guidelines 2002) is between 201.5 and 202.7 metres above sea level. Operation outside this range is allowable in compliance with the guidelines.

    These levels shown are provisional and are indicative only and for general information purposes, and do not try to show what actual levels will be at any particular time or place. If you intend to use the hydro lakes for any recreational or other purpose, please ensure that your activity can be safely carried out if the actual water levels change.

    Meridian voluntarily reports hydro spill as part of the Voluntary Hydro Spill reporting regime. Read a summary of our monthly and quarterly spill totals

    Lake Te Anau lake levels Lake Level Graph
  • Lake Manapōuri lake levels

    The measurements are shown in metres above sea level. The main operating range for Lake Manapōuri (as defined by the Lake Level Guidelines 2002) is between 176.8 and 178.6 metres above sea level. Operation outside this range is allowable in compliance with the guidelines.

    These levels shown are provisional and are indicative only and for general information purposes, and do not try to show what actual levels will be at any particular time or place. If you intend to use the hydro lakes for any recreational or other purpose, please ensure that your activity can be safely carried out if the actual water levels change.

    Meridian voluntarily reports hydro spill as part of the Voluntary Hydro Spill reporting regime. Read a summary of our monthly and quarterly spill totals

    Lake Manapōuri lake levels Lake Level Graph

Snow storage

During spring and summer, snow in the Waitaki catchment melts, flowing into rivers and lakes and contributing to hydro inflows and storage. Snow melt is estimated to contribute approximately half of the inflows to the Waitaki catchment over the summer period although this figure varies1.

Meridian collects information on the amount of water stored as snow so we can estimate its impact on inflows.

Meridian makes no representation as to the amount, timing and location of any such inflows through the publication of this information.

Calculating snow water equivalent (SWE) is complex and resulting estimates (and their relationship to lake inflows) have a high degree of uncertainty. Reliance should not be placed on the accuracy or completeness of the estimates provided and you should not use this information for investment or trading purposes. Meridian publishes a monthly operating report on the NZX and ASX outlining the current hydro storage position each month.

Seasonal snow storage in Waitaki catchment as at 25/07/2015
Meridian Energy Snow Storage 27 July

Snow storage relative to the time of year
Current Mean Percentage Minimum Maximum
1173 GWh 958 GWh 121% 594 GWh 1401 GWh

This chart is updated weekly. The chart shows the current amount of snow stored in the Waitaki catchment relative to the long term distribution. The black line shows current snow storage. The coloured areas show the long term variability (mean, min, max, 25th%ile and 75th%iles). 

1. McKerchar, A. I., C. P. Pearson, and B. B. Fitzharris. 1998. Dependency of Summer Lake Inflows and Precipitation on Spring SOI. Journal of Hydrology 205:66-80.

  • Lake dimensions

    Lake

    Lake area at normal maximum control level

    Average lake level above sea level

    Te Anau 352                                          202.2                    
    Manapōuri 141 177.7
    Pūkaki 179.5 527.7
    Ruataniwha 4.9                   458.7
    Ōhau 61.2 519.8
    Benmore 74.5 361.1
    Aviemore 28.8 268.1
    Waitaki 6.2 230.2