Written by Dave Hansford @davehansford4
Another day; another freshwater report. By now, you could recite this stuff in your sleep: too many cows pissing too much nitrate, drought by irrigation. Greedy farmers, shrill environmentalists. Equivocal scientists, euphemistic politicians.
All of them allow that we must do better. And, next day, we don’t.
The Ministry for the Environment’s (MfE’s) latest cardiogram on our rivers – Our Fresh Water 2017 – reveals that their pulse is stronger in a few places, weaker in many more than before. Nitrogen runoff is up, dissolved phosphorus loads are down. The waters of a quarter of monitored lakes are considered “poor to very poor”.
Urban streams are, in the main, filthy.
Denial welled up like an eddy on the Buller.
From this latest damnation – this absolute cowpat of a report card – Federated Farmers somehow deduced that: “It’s clear… that the quality of 80 percent of our waterways is improving…”
“The value of this report”, opined Irrigation NZ CEO Andrew Curtis, “is that it gives us a ‘starting point’ to work from.”
Pretty much, then, like the Christchurch earthquakes left us a “starting point” for the rebuild.
Sometimes, it seems like the only one not bullshitting us about water is nature.
Ninety per cent of all New Zealand’s wetlands are now under friesians or concrete. Three-quarters of native freshwater fish are threatened with extinction. A third of aquatic invertebrates and plants are also circling the effluent drain.
That’s not a starting point; that’s practically an end game.
To read the full are click here