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Select from table:
primary drainage region
water management area
Select from map:
primary drainage region
water management area
'Top 333' NCMP sites:
all drainage regions
old version
Hydrological sites:
Help & tutorial
About the system
Rivers and catchments in Google Earth format
Scripts used to generate this site

Water quality data exploration tool

Google Earth logo

This browser tool provides access to the Water Affairs water quality sites, some monitored as early as the 1950s. Many are groundwater sites with only one record, others are river sites with thousands of samples. Links are available to static PNG graphs and data files listing the more common water quality constituents. Files for displaying data in Google Earth help you to see sites in relation to one another and to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the sampling network.

Follow a Sites link at the left to make a selection. The table links provide the widest choice, while the map links are useful if you are unfamiliar with the drainage regions and management areas. Top 333 shows the monitoring sites that form the core of the National Chemical Monitoring Programme. To view only the hydrological stations labelled with "station catalogue" codes, choose a rivers, dams or estuaries link.

Time slider

These Google Earth KMZ files are time-enabled: if a site is not visible, it may have starting and ending dates outside the date range set in the time slider at the top of the Google Earth display (Google Earth version 4 and later). Double-click on the menu item to show all available dates or move the slider and its limit bars to show sites that were active within a time window. Click on the small clock face (GE 4) or spanner (GE 5, 6) for other options. Note that selecting and unselecting check boxes in the GE table of contents sometimes resets the time range.

time slider

Definitive data source

These web pages provide a snapshot of the WMS database and may lag behind the live database by several months. The zipped comma-delimited files provided for use in spreadsheets are not live data, nor do they show where results are below the detection limit for a particular method:
the WMS database is the definitive data source. Please address any surface water quality data requests to Marica Erasmus at Resource Quality Information Services and groundwater data queries to Georequests under Hydrological Services.


Treat pH data for the years 1978-1989 with caution, especially where the alkalinity is low. The dataset has a systematic downward bias during this period.

Browser problems

(April 2014) Google Earth applications run on devices operating under iOS and Android. However, mobile versions of Google Earth may limit the number of monitoring sites displayed. Some versions do not display any sites at all.

(May 2012) Some versions of Google Earth, from version 5.2 onwards, had a bug in the links within popup balloons. Google located the source of the problem and versions from 6.2.1 work correctly.

Please report problems with these pages, or make suggestions for improvements, to the WMS team.

For help with Google Earth itself, visit the Google Earth Help Centre.

Last update of this page 2016-04-08 08:21
This site should work on most browsers. Please send comments to the webmaster