Fresh water as good as gold in Christchurch
By Hamish Clark
While the most obvious quake damage has been to buildings within a few blocks of each other in the city centre, the damage extends well beyond.
To the south east lie the suburbs of St Martins, Huntsbury and Opawa and residents today rushed to get their hands on the basics; collecting as many supplies as they could.
“Basically we have to supply people milk and bread and all the daily basics we have,” says shop manager Ian Zsu.
Eddie and Nelly Fisher are living it rough in their caravan; escaping with their lives when their Hunstbury home was destroyed.
“She is a right off; a lot of good memories, good family memories, sad today,” says Eddie Fisher.
Normally busy roads are covered in up to half a meter of liquefaction, turning it into a four wheel drive track.
“We are trying to uncover the road, find the road under here,” says Grant Frew.
Everyone is pitching in digging out the sand from driveways – again.
Fresh water is the most sought after; there is a natural spring under Richard Foot’s house at 131 Opawa Rd.
A litre of water every second gushes out, and Mr Foot is giving it away by the bucket full.
“We have got an Artesian well out the back there and it has a flow rate of 90,000 litres a day and I thought I would pump it out onto the street and people can take what they want,” he says.
People with buckets, fuel containers and 10-litre paint buckets line up at the makeshift water station.
The Artesian water comes from 100 metres down; it's the same water that the City Council use to supply Christchurch.
“He is giving it away for free; what can you say, in your hour of need there is someone there to help you, just don't believe it,” says Vicki Kerr.
“Everybody is so grateful and people want to give us money but we are just saying donate money to the earthquake victims because we are okay,” says water volunteer Annette Bone.
For Richard Foot; it’s all about looking after people in need.
“Its quite heart warming to help people,” he says.
It's just the basics people need; who would have thought water was the most important.