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Environment Canterbury welcomes water campaign

August 24, 2006

Environment Canterbury welcomes water campaign

Environment Canterbury chairman Sir Kerry Burke says the national public awareness campaign on water to be launched Friday, August 25, by the Ministry for the Environment challenges everyone to think about water and what they can do to protect it. “The campaign uses local people and helps us think about the value of water for that person – whether that is for farming, electricity generation, tourism, ecosystems or outdoor lifestyles,” Sir Kerry says.

“While water continues to drop from the sky, it is taken for granted by many of us. In cities and towns, unless there are garden hosing restrictions over summer, people barely worry about the amounts of water they use, where it comes from and whether or not it will continue to be a safe drinking supply, or if their local swimming or fishing spot will continue to be a good place to swim or fish.

“Where water is already polluted, people need to ask if this can be remedied for future generations and if so, how?

“In Canterbury, where we have had exponential growth in irrigation in recent years, water managers have to ensure we are not mining the underground water supply and that our rivers are not being sucked dry. The farming and primary industries communities are much more aware of ways to avoid contamination of groundwater and lowland streams, through things like nutrient budgeting. There is, however, much yet to do.

“Environment Canterbury has environmental flow regimes on all main rivers and our new restorative programme for lowland streams acknowledges that water managers and farmers need to work with climate and rainfall to ensure that seasonal variations do not end up leaving the environment short-changed.

“This water campaign aims to awaken us and get us all thinking of better ways to live and work with this essential resource.”

From August 25, to find out more about the value of water and the need to use it more wisely, visit www.4million.org.nz The Water Awareness Campaign is a three-year partnership between central and regional government. It aims to raise people’s awareness of water use and quality issues, and encourage more personal responsibility in water use in the home and the workplace.


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