We’re all responsible for water quality

The Green party is blaming intensified dairying for a deterioration in water quality noted in the release of the Ministry of Health’s annual drinking water survey.

But Federated Farmers chief executive Conor English says the rural sector is only partly to blame for the drop in quality.

“The farming community accepts that farming has an impact on the environment, we take that very seriously, and we’ve invested enormous amounts of money in mitigating whatever our impacts are, but we want an open and honest discussion about water quality.”

Mr English said water quality was something urban dwellers should take equal responsibility for.

“Every New Zealander needs to take responsibility for their environmental impact. It doesn’t matter where you live. . .

He said it was unfair to lay the blame on farmers every time beaches and rivers are closed in cities.

“There are no cows living in Wellington, there are no cows living in Auckland.” . . .

Saying you’re contributing to problems too won’t solve them.

But English is right.

We’re all responsible for water quality.

Some FAQs and a link to the full report are here

10 Responses to We’re all responsible for water quality

  1. robertguyton says:

    Your link does not go to the Green Party’s comments on water quality. It goes to TV3’s glib comment.


  2. robertguyton says:

    Connor English’s brother, Bill, lives in a city. Conner is pointing the finger at Bill and saying, You’re responsible for this poor water quality, Bill. Pull your socks up!

    Is this what you are meaning by your post, Ele?


  3. homepaddock says:

    Which bit of we’re all responsible for water quality don’t you understand?


  4. Mr E says:

    I don’t understand. The report says.

    What has caused the small drop in overall compliance?

    For a water supply to be fully compliant it must have met the drinking-water standards for chemicals, bacteria and protozoa. We know that 18 zones (covering 143,000 people) which complied in the 2010/11 period did not comply this reporting period. This was offset slightly by 24 zones (serving 71,000 people) who have achieved overall compliance for this reporting period but previously didn’t (in 2010/11). Ministry of Health officials and ESR scientists looked closely at the small drop in overall compliance to see if there are any clear reasons.

    The most common reason identified was a fall-off in the frequency of monitoring, mainly due to suppliers not meeting all the requirements of the sampling schedules for their supply, especially over holiday periods, rather than due to any cost-cutting measures.

    Only a few of the non-compliances were because the water had levels of contaminants above the drinking-water standards. In all these cases, the water suppliers took remedial action and there were no outbreaks of disease reported.

    How can the farmers be blamed for that?


  5. robertguyton says:

    Do the Greens say, ‘urban people are not responsible for water quality’, Ele?


  6. Armchair Critic says:

    Do you have any examples of farmers being blamed unfairly for beach closures in Wellington or Auckland, Ele? In the absence of evidence that such blame has been laid, I suspect that the suggestion by Mr English is completely misleading.


  7. robertguyton says:

    Much of Ele’s post is misleading. Ele, could you please link to or quote from any statement from the Greens blame dairying entirely for water degradation, or any statement from the Greens that absolves people living in towns an cities from blame for poor water quality.
    Thanks in expectation.


  8. Mr E says:

    Actually I think the misleading is done by the reporting. Ele has cited it sure.
    But watching the story is very misleading. As is typical many of the pictures shown are of beef cows. One has a calf with it. Is there no farming experience in the news team?
    I though Connor did a great job to redirect.
    Mr E


  9. robertguyton says:

    Ele, don’t cite misleading reporting, seems to be the lesson from this interchange.
    Thanks, Mr E. Like you, I enjoy rational debate.


  10. Mr E says:

    No problems. I am sure you will take those learnings and apply them to your own blog.


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