Maintaining high water quality and quantity is Canterbury region top priority.
News is bad: New tests show nitrate levels still rising in water “Nitrate concentrations in Selwyn’s water sources continue to rise.. The district council’s chemical testing results show nitrate levels have increased in more than half of the tested water schemes over the last two years. Dunsandel, Rolleston, Kirwee, Lincoln, Darfield, Southbridge, Sheffield, Glentunnel, West Melton, Springston and Springfield water sources all have increased concentrations, some of which are more than twice the 2017 levels… ‘Any time something is getting up to half of the recommended drinking water standard, it’s time to pay attention'” Star News, 6 Sept 2019
More action needed: Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan ECan 2017 + Action for healthy waterways: Our proposals, your views Ministry for the Environment 2019
Election to Environment Canterbury in 2007, of conservationists including two Save Our Water candidates, met a change of central government the following year and suspension of regional democracy in 2010. This was to remove the balance we had provided to irrigation interests, which were then being forcibly made to dominate again. There is no credible water advocacy that does not denounce this wanton act of power abuse or defend lock-step its front line. Politics muddies the water to hide broad responsibility.
Since this time we have kept the campaign going, online as https://saveourwater.org.nz
And we have lent support to many other water democracy campaigns, e.g.
In 2019 we campaign more broadly on conservation, sustainability, democracy and equity issues, seeking justice for water and the clear majority, as CommunityVoice.NZ. – Join us! Offer to host a billboard please, from now to 11 October. Kia ora. Waiora.
Debate rages on, remaining highly topical, e.g. former ECan chairman Sir Kerry Burke – “local government, though very important, tends to be dominated by senior staff and it can be filled with self-serving mediocrity, as witnessed at ECan in 2010, with four irrigating councillors being found by the auditor-general to have had conflicts of interest when they voted against important water reforms” – so only Half the Environment Canterbury council is standing again The Press, 16 Aug 2019.
New findings and recommendations about ECan failings mount, e.g:
Fresh water crisis: a Canterbury case study with Dr Mike Joy 15 Aug 2019 from waterqualitynz.info after ECan ignores calls from health and environment NGOs to address toxic nitrate levels Forest & Bird 25 Jul 2019. How we fail to protect freshwater in New Zealand, a Canterbury case Dr Joy talk here, 22 Aug 2019.
Aspiration for water quality has now reached 100% – Drinkable Rivers 2019.