Living Water: Dairy and freshwater thriving together

Farming and freshwater thriving together

Living Water is a partnership between the Department of Conservation and Fonterra. We’re trialling tools, methods and approaches to enable farming, freshwater and healthy ecosystems to thrive side-by-side.

We’re working with farmers, scientists, councils, mana whenua and communities to design and test solutions to improve freshwater quality, and then sharing the results of our trials and research on this website.

Our mission

100 projects

Trying things out, costing them, and planning how to take them to scale

5 regions

Demonstrating dairying and freshwater ecosystems thriving together

1 mission

To build connections which can drive better outcomes for the environment, the economy and New Zealanders

Our mission

Who are we

With nearly 40% of New Zealand’s land under our care, Fonterra and the Department of Conservation have joined forces to work on the farming and freshwater challenge.

We work on the ground, side by side. We share our expertise and use our collective strengths.

Who are we

Where we’re working

How we’re working


Working towards a common vision of dairy and freshwater thriving together


Designing and trialling solutions in five catchments


Measuring the impact across 10 years


Scaling implementation — the process and cost per farm, per region and for New Zealand


Championing change — to mindsets, approaches, systems and aspirations

How we’re working

What we’re up to

We are doers, with the big picture in mind. Check out what we have been up to around New Zealand.

Tools and solutions

Our projects, case studies, and resources

Tools and solutions