Thu, 21 Feb 2013 7:00p.m.
In New Zealand, we're lucky with water, but perhaps not as lucky as many of us think.
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4/03/2013 10:28:27 p.m.
It won't matter to the profiteering ecan that ratepayers have to pick up the tab for cleaning our rivers and lakes up as it's part of the wealth transfer from us to them and their ilk.. dairy farmers never put in what they take out and that's what makes them the $$$.
I remember swimming and drinking the selwyn water 20 years ago (before dairy) and that small sector is responsible for the widespread degradation of our rivers, the true cost of dairy will be it's downfall, but only if we all say "enough!" and have this industry comply to sustainable farming, not this rubbish PR of 'best farming practice' which really means absolutely nothing.. best environmental farming might be a better goal??
Cows crap 14 times as much as humans everyday but have no sewage system apart from the time they're in the shed... which dairy farmers still fail with! What a lot of crap heading into our waters!!
1/03/2013 2:19:54 p.m.
Save Hawke's Bay from the same fate. wrote:
Excellent story, come to Hawke's Bay to do a follow up, we are unfortantually going down the same route as cantbury.
25/02/2013 11:42:29 p.m.
Canterbury water wonk wrote:
Very good treatment of a really hairy issue, but two errors of omission to point out. As one commenter wrote, foot hills-fed rivers in Canterbury frequently and naturally dry up during summer, as the water from their upper reaches infiltrates the ground and recharges the aquifer. This is particularly true of the Selwyn at SH1. That said, abstraction has indeed made these dry portions longer and more frequent. The other omission is that the Selwyn used to be artificially stocked with trout (a species as native to New Zealand as cows); this no longer happens. So comparing the 1960s with today is like comparing apples with oranges.
And to respond to earlier comments: yes, human activity can cause earthquakes (we did so when we filled the Upper Waitaki hydro lakes, though too subtle for us to feel); but no, the abstraction of water across Canterbury wouldn't have the slightest effect on seismicity.
Also, the best estimate of the irrigation requirement to produce 1 L of milk in Canterbury is about 250 L, based on an AgResearch study.
25/02/2013 12:10:30 a.m.
Not sure how many viewers would be aware that many Canterbury foothills rivers run dry in their middle section quite frequently. I've only been here a few years so am not sure what the rivers were like a generation ago, but I do know the Canterbury mudfish for one is adapted to cope with ephemeral (intermittently flowing) rivers.This did lead me to ask Fonterra once what the Clean Streams Accord stream definition meant for Canterbury - i.e. how many kilometres of river and stream met their definition of wider than a stride, deeper than a red band gumboot, when rivers as large as the Selwyn (catchment 700km2 or so) dry up - does that mean even the Selwyn doesn't need fencing out? They're reporting fencing out 90% of Canterbury streams (adjacent to dairy farms) but I can't tell what length that means. I never got an answer - follow up still required.
22/02/2013 11:45:15 p.m.
Really good story - who would ever believe that you could drive from ChCh to Ashburton and hardly see a sheep. it is all cows these days - it is putting all our eggs in one basket. Leave the cows in Southland, Waikato and the West Coast - and farm sheep on the plains ! It is so insane trying to dairy farm with the nor'westers and the stony base under the soil. The irrigator spreads the water, takes it out of our beautiful rivers and then it just drains away. I am camping at Coes Ford this weekend, on the Selwyn River, it is still lovely but the river is only half what it was 20 years ago. The other point is, that while we continue to flush down the toilet the same water that we drink out of the tap - we are just wasting it. Why on earth don't the councils get real about every household collecting grey water for the outside taps. No is our opportunity in Chch with all these new places being built - to make them all more enviornmentally friendly.
22/02/2013 10:01:18 p.m.
Selwyn River local wrote:
Thanks John and Team for bringing the national river / water issue to the forefront. Please keep on keeping on, and follow up with more on this story.
22/02/2013 8:45:40 p.m.
Wake up Nz wrote:
Awesome item team!! At last someone is exposing this sham about dairy being our great saviour. Let's hope more people wake up to the danger associated with this industry and the Key Joyce blind fixation with a fast buck off the back of 'cheap' milk. Three points for further consideration:
1. You didn't answer your own question 'who controls water management?' That would be the ECan commissars National put in to facilitate more unsustainable irrigation.
2. What's happening in Canterbury is about to be foisted on Otago, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay...dairy development in the driest parts of the country! courtesy of Key and Joyce's $400 million taxpayer funded irrigation subsidy!!!
3. What impact is their negligent economic 'development' regime having on tourism - our largest and most important industry!?
How much more damage can these idiots do to NZ and our reputation before Kiwis wake up.....
22/02/2013 8:32:30 p.m.
Please Let Me Swim at Coes Ford wrote:
On the Waterrights Trust website there is a statistic saying that in 2009 there were consents to draw 290 Cubic Meters per Second from the Canterbury Plains Acqifer. Further, that long term this is expected to grow to 569 Cu Meters / Second. Refer - http://www.waterrightstrust.org.nz/pathway-to-disaster/
If one converts the 290 Cu M/s to say 10 years this works out to 91 Billion Tonnes of water. This is the same as a cube of water whose sides are each 4.5 Km in length.
It is also observed that none of this water use in metered.
When the first earthquake happened in September 2010, I thought it was a very strange place to have an earthquake. Since then it has been observed by the experts that the sequence of major earthquakes since have happened as a prolonged ongoing sequence of events which is unusual when compared with major earthquake events overseas. Refer http://www.3news.co.nz/Scientist-explains-strong-Christchurch-aftershocks/tabid/1160/articleID/270923/Default.aspx
The questions I have are - 'Were these earthquakes caused by a change of Water Weight in the Plains Acqifier?' and 'Is it possible that this ongoing change in Water Weight will cause more earthquakes in the near future ?'.
Maybe man can cause earthqakes after all !
22/02/2013 2:37:11 p.m.
A great start to the year Campbell Live. I do not believe that many people realise the significant amount of water that is used to make just one litre of milk. It is a staggering number (800-900 litres) http://bit.ly/ibIQRW (Forest & Bird Society link) or http://bit.ly/NEv2D (Stuff article link)!!
22/02/2013 2:17:23 p.m.
I was interested in your programme about Canterbury water supply.Here in Napier there is a rumour circulating that some property in Awatoto has been purchased by some Chinese and along with the purchase is the right to take water from the aquifer, at no cost. The water to be shipped to China no doubt for sale. Note this is only being rumoured but could be worth you investigating.
National is now consulting on a radical plan that could see tighter restrictions on water use, a price put on that use, and restrictions on appeals against allocation decisions.
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