Agriculture Minister David Carter and Environment Minister Nick Smith have announced a reform process for fresh water management.
“Reform of New Zealand’s fresh water management is needed to address deteriorating water quality and poor incentives for water allocation and storage, Nick Smith said.
“New Zealand’s abundant fresh water resources are the envy of many other countries and the key to our competitive advantage in agriculture and renewable energy – as well as being essential to our environment and lifestyle. The problem is that our system of management has not kept up with the extra pressure on our water system . . .
He’s right. An improved system of management which safeguards water quality while allowing some to be used for irrigation is desperately needed.
David Carter said some parts of New Zealand are approaching water resource limits and the issue needs to be addressed.
“New Zealand has plenty of water, but not always in the right places and at the right times. This has led to demand outstripping supply and economic opportunities being constrained. Water is a vital input for the primary sectors, which are collectively the biggest export earner and employer in New Zealand.
“The focus of the new direction will be on water quality, water quantity, allocation, and infrastructure including water storage.
“We need to ensure that the changes we make are workable and carefully balance New Zealand’s important environmental reputation with the potential for ongoing economic growth from the primary sector.
We don’t have a water shortage per se, it’s as Carter says when and where we have it which causes problems.
There are also concerns over water quality and allocation which must be addressed and his mention of infrastructure and water storeage are encouraging.