Water

Tamati Coffey opens mouth with predictable results

Watch as the stupid rolls forth.

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Any minute now a taniwha is going to turn up

A Whangarei hapū are angry over sale of Porotī spring water to China:

While the ownership of water is yet to be determined, local government is allowing it to be sold commercially overseas.

That is why local hapū are up in arms over an Auckland-based company selling water from Poroti Springs to China.

Poroti hapū are angry that Auckland-based Company Zodiac Holdings Limited has been given the go ahead to sell their water supply.

So a New Zealand company, owned by a New Zealander (see company office), is exporting to China and local Maori are angry.

“Now Zodiac have up to two and a half cubic metres a day and they want to sell it to China so we don’t get ten cents and there’s no revenue whatsoever for our hapū.  Not that we want to sell the water but we just want to participate and share.  We actually have to pay for our own water,” says Ruka.

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Auckland Council admit there is a problem with water infrastructure as well

Watercare have taken offence at my assertions that Auckland infrastructure is stuffed and has 10% capacity remaining in it.

That’s not necessarily their fault – they inherited a legacy of poor management from the seven former Councils and they have a limited capacity to raise funds for more expenditure.

Now they say that the limited capacity isn’t really an issue because they have lots of expenditure planned.

Except that the planned infrastructure is spread over decades and, importantly, it doesn’t fix the issue today. It doesn’t even fix it in the next 5 or 10 years.

Auckland Council even admit that the current infrastructure is stuffed.

Only last week a presentation made by Council’s own Manager for Growth and Infrastructure Strategy, Dawne Mackay, states clearly that they have issues:   Read more »

Garner loses his bottle

It has to be one of Prime Minister John Key’s most mocked and meaningless phrases – that “no-one owns the water”.

What complete drivel – no one may own it – but a select few multi-national companies are making billions from it.

We’re being screwed. More on that shortly.

I certainly pay for the water I use. It’s not free at all.  [ Whaleoil debunked this already – sigh ]

Every month I get a bill for my water usage in my Auckland home from Watercare, which is a council-run organisation.

Last month’s bill, for an average daily use of 700 litres, came to $190.

That was a big month for us. This is not just a fixed charge for reticulation, this is a charge for how much water we use.

In Wellington I was never charged. No charge in Christchurch either. It’s all covered as part of your rates.

Which brings me to all of us being screwed.

Why should I be paying for a resource that we effectively give away to foreign companies (allowing them to make a massive profit?)

For a start we should be bottling it ourselves. But of course we’re not. We missed that boat. We’ve handed the water over to these creative and smart multi-nationals to rape our resource. And they’re good at it.

Companies from America, China, Japan and Latvia all bottle our water here – effectively for free – and sell it to the world.

We should probably be applauding these companies for their vision and foresight. But we haven’t exactly stood in their way.

Chinese company Oravida paid just $526 last year for a resource consent to draw up to 400,000 litres of water a day from the Otakiri aquifer in the Bay of Plenty.

The company can take 146 million litres a year until 2026.

The local council confirmed this week that Oravida has paid just $1503 for the consents since 1992.

It’s happening in Ashburton too but it’s all top secret – which is an insult to locals.

A company has paid $8 million for a block of former public land and gets a 30-year resource consent to draw 40 billion litres of pure artesian water.

They will make hundreds of millions of dollars – no wonder locals feel like they are increasingly becoming ‘tenants in their own country’.

Coca-Cola – which has annual revenues of more than $60 billion – takes water from a pure spring near Putaruru in the Waikato for its Pump brand. Read more »

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Aucklanders are doomed

SN9AoKH

Not because of Len Brown, although that can’t have helped.  But apparently, Aucklanders are so disconnected from reality that they want Civil Defence to restore their “WiFi” before water.

In emergency situations, Aucklanders want WiFi internet restored before water, a survey revealed.

Auckland Council Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) found 48 per cent of people prioritised WiFi as an essential part of everyday life. Read more »

We don’t want dogs crapping in the street, so why do we accept cows crapping in our water?

Water quality is important. For some reason there is an element in our society who seem to think that just because farmers have been allowing cattle to roam in waterways for 100 years we should still allow it today.

Auckland used to pour its sewage straight into the Manukau Harbour…we don’t any more. The Thames River in the UK was very nearly dead because it was treated as an open sewer. It isn’t any more. Many towns in New Zealand used to dump sewage and factory run-off into our rivers; now it is policed and we are working on stopping the practice.

We expect dog owners to pick up the leavings of their dogs; we used to allow people to leave dog poop all over the place. We’ve changed.

Farmers need to get with the programme. Many do but some let them all down.

Clean water campaigners believe the quality of New Zealand’s fresh water is nearing crisis level.

It comes after a herd of cattle was pictured polluting a North Canterbury Lake.

The cattle were back on dry land well away from Lake Taylor today, but it was a picture taken by a camper over the New Year period that prompted Environment Canterbury (ECan) to pay a visit to cattle’s owners.

It’s not good practice to have stock in the water,” says ECan consents and compliance manager Marty Mortiaux.   Read more »

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Surely the Chief Justice should follow the law?

You’d think if you were the Chief Justice you’d make sure that any enterprise that you were a shareholder/owner of would be following the law…not in this country though.

A South Island farm owned by Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias has been complained about before, with witnesses describing repeated incidents of cattle and sheep wading in lakes.

A past complainant described the farmer as “riding roughshod” over the concerns of other people using the area, and witnessed a “disturbing amount of cow s…” in another lake at the property.

Holidaymaker Allan Brown photographed cattle drinking in Lake Taylor, about 50 kilometres northwest of Hawarden, last week. He had since lodged a complaint with Environment Canterbury (ECan).

His picture, which had been widely shared online, showed the animals were on Lakes Station land.

Elias and her businessman husband, Hugh Fletcher, were the majority owners of the 5000-hectare high country farm.

Fletcher told RNZ he let the cows into the lake on hot days, but their access was not continuous.   Read more »

Here’s some news: all our water is in the wrong place

This will not come as a surprise to anyone.  And to whine about it in a severe El Niño year is a bit precious.

Despite the weekend’s deluge in the north, summer is barely a month old and already some regions are running low on drinking water. Supplies for farm animals and crops are being rationed.

Trucks are delivering water to parched vineyards in Marlborough. As river levels dip in the hottest months, water quality falls. Warning signs beside freshwater lagoons at Piha, Karekare and Bethells because of overloaded septic tanks are a familiar summer sight.

Toxic algae has been detected at 15 freshwater sites in Canterbury. North of Christchurch, people who draw water from rural supplies with shallow intakes must permanently boil water used for drinking, oral hygiene and food preparation.

The pattern is repeated most years. In all likelihood, the task of ensuring towns and cities – and the countryside – have access to clean and sufficient water, as well as water for recreation, is certain to become a pressing issue. It begs questions whether communities are adequately prepared to cope with water supply stresses, and whether agencies which manage fresh water are on top of their game.

Yes, the signs are repeated every year, but not the the same locations.  This is related to the long narrow shape of our country, and the “great divide” keeping weather on one or the other side of it – depending predominantly on El Niño or La Niña patterns.   Read more »

Severe Waikato chemical scare

Posted by Waikato Regional Council on Friday, January 1, 2016

A 30-year-old hoax has hit the Waikato, forcing the regional council to reassure people that Dihydrogen Monoxide, or water, is not harmful.

A picture warning people of a spillage of hundreds of litres of Dihydrogen Monoxide into the Waikato River has been shared over 482 times.

The post says Environment Waikato, now called the Waikato Regional Council, were informed of a large spillage into the Waikato River last night.

“Estimated to be hundreds of thousands of litres, and growing. Dihydrogen Monoxide was seen spilling out on industrial overflow pipe into the Waikato River, south of Hamilton, and reports claim the spillage is continuing.”

It goes onto say that Dihydrogen Monoxide can be highly dangerous and used in the chemical manufacturing industry.

“If breathed into the lungs, it can kill a grown adult in seconds.”

I’m quite a fan of Dihydrogen Monoxide myself.   It is, in fact, one of the world’s most powerful solvents and I use it readily in my laundry, kitchen and bathroom.   Read more »

The Press on Water Quality

Yesterday the Press editorial was scathing about water quality.

New Zealanders cannot stand by while our rivers become so polluted we can no longer swim in them.

This week The Press reported that the number of Canterbury rivers safe for swimming has reached its lowest point in at least five years. Now, nearly one-third of the monitoring sites on Canterbury rivers have been deemed unsafe to swim in, according to Environment Canterbury (ECan). This compares with five years ago when one in four sites were considered unsafe for swimming.

Now, some of our most popular swimming and camping spots such as Coes Ford are blighted by a toxic algae which can cause rashes, nausea, and numbness. It can be fatal to dogs and other animals. The warm summer expected with El Nino is only likely to see the situation worsen.

Depressingly, in 2010, ECan’s new commissioners – brought in after elected members were sacked due to failings in water management – set as one of their goals improving the swimmability of the region’s rivers.

Yet under these commissioners, river quality has worsened. Sites along the Waimakariri, Hurunui, Selwyn and Ashburton rivers are rated “poor” or “very poor”.

Dairy farming is often fingered as a prime contributor to water pollution.  And with good reason.    Read more »