A modelling system has been developed to help manage and protect groundwater in Canterbury.
The model will help the Canterbury Regional Council decide where more water can be extracted and which parts of the aquifers are already under too much pressure.
Hydrologist Mike Thorley says it replicates what's happening underground - showing how pumping affects spring flows, how water gets into the aquifer, how it's stored and for what period of time.
The system will initially be used to help determine the impact that the Central Plains irrigation scheme will have on groundwater.
The effects of proposals to artifically recharge the aquifers will then be modelled.