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Key turns sod on water polluting project

29 April 2014

Key turns sod on water polluting project

The National Government’s irrigation agenda will result in more river and groundwater pollution, the Green Party said today.

John Key is today turning the first sod on the Central Plains Water scheme which would result in the irrigation of 60,000 ha between Rakaia and Waimakairiri Rivers. The Government Crown Irrigation Company has given $6.5 million to the scheme. Environment Canterbury reports highlight that agricultural intensification of the type promoted by the Central Plains Water scheme will cause more pollution of Canterbury's rivers and aquifers.

“This scheme will result in more polluting nutrients from high intensity farming, with increased stock numbers and fertiliser use, entering our rivers and groundwater,” said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“The scheme puts Canterbury’s groundwater, the source of many Cantabrians’ drinking water, at risk of becoming too polluted to drink safely.

“As well as putting Cantabrians’ drinking water at risk of elevated levels of nitrate, an Environment Canterbury report has highlighted that there is an increased risk of illness from campylobacter, salmonella, and gastroenteritis in areas of dairy and major irrigation schemes.

“We need strong clean water rules that ensure our rivers are safe for swimming and our drinking water is safe,” said Ms Sage.

ENDS

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