Fewer cows, cleaner water & safer climate

28/04/2017

Today we told the government what we think about its ‘Clean Water‘ document:

  • Rivers that are ‘suitable for swimming more than 80% of the time‘ are not swimmable
  • The shift of E.coli guideline to 540 per 100 mls is unacceptable
  • All rivers and lakes where communities use or seek to use for recreation should be included for improvement, not just ‘large’ ones
  • Residues of pesticides and hydrocarbons need to be included as additional attributes for determining ecological and human health risks of waterways
  • The life-supporting capacity of our waterways and the rights of communities and future generations to adequate and clean water must not be compromised by so-called economic arguments
  • National bottom lines for freshwater must not be breached because of polluting infrastructure
  • Support, not penalize, tangata whenua efforts in protecting the health of our waterways
  • Exclude stock from waterways, reduce stock number and halt further dairy conversion for the sake of clean water, ecosystem health and livable climate
  • Honour Te Mana o te Wai and invest in responsible and sustainable alternatives

Read our submission here with the case of the Waitara River.

Waitara warning signs combined April 2017 Janice Liddle

Photos courtesy of Friends of the Waitara River, April 2017

 


A “diddly squat” and the “really chunky hard part”

06/05/2016

bottled water web

The recent Radio NZ interview with Environment Minister Nick Smith offered some interesting insights into the current government’s view and approach to the management of water.

Many argue that water is the most valuable and contestable natural resource of the 21st century. According to the United Nations, forty-one countries experienced water stress in 2011; ten of them are close to depleting their supply of renewable freshwater and must now rely on non-conventional sources. By 2050, at least one in four people worldwide are likely to be affected by recurring water shortages.

New Zealand is blessed with rich water resources, some 500 trillion litres of it flowing through our lakes, rivers and aquifers. Yet not every region is as ‘rich’, and even the ‘rich’ regions can be ‘poor’ at times.

In the interview, the Minister was adamant on two points:

  • No one owns water
  • No price will be put on water

Read the rest of this entry »