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Fast-Track Bill Increases Impetus for Real-time, Transparent Water Monitoring

The New Zealand government's decision to fast-track the consenting process for projects of national significance greatly increases the urgency for transparent and collaborative water monitoring across all our waterways.

The ability of New Zealand to maintain access to international markets, finance, and insurance is crucial, as the country heavily relies on trading based on the premise of healthy, shared water resources through our domestic environment. Our major export, dairy has strongly asserted its commitment to maintaining freshwater quality and is reliant on numerous environmental inputs to be able to continue to produce healthy animals. The link between environmental maintenance and second biggest export earner, tourism, is equally as pronounced. People visit our country to enjoy the pristine environment. That gives us access to $40b dollars a year.

The acceleration of the process for signing off significant projects has raised concern about maintaining a commitment to safeguarding the environment and the increased risk to our waterways has simultaneously increased the need for continuous, real-time monitoring.

“Now more than ever we need to prove to the world that we are able to monitor and report on the health of our waterways,” says Abi Croutear-Foy, Managing Director of AquaWatch. “We need to protect our shared resources and ensure that there is public visibility across key water health measurements.”

The evolution of technology offers unprecedented opportunities to enhance the way we monitor and report environmental data. From IoT (Internet of Things) sensors to blockchain, technology can enable continuous, transparent, and reliable environmental data collection and dissemination.

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“New Zealand is home to a thriving tech ecosystem of environmental reporting and management which we can leverage to streamline compliance requirements, monitoring, and reporting processes,” says Croutear-Foy.

“In the context of the fast-tracked consenting processes, the amalgamation of mass data to report on outcomes and impacts has even more importance to ensure that projects adhere to environmental standards.”

By adopting technologies that enable continuous and transparent reporting of water health, the government could set new standards for environmental accountability.

In embracing these technologies, New Zealand can emerge as a global leader in integrating sustainable practices with development goals, ensuring that shared resources are protected for future generations whilst enabling businesses to avoid lengthy delays and lose investment opportunities.

To enable industry sectors who rely on healthy water to do business, this week AquaWatch is launching a free trial for industry, councils, and regulatory bodies to use our water monitoring technology. This will enable access to the data required to create solutions.

“Through thorough, real-time monitoring upstream and downstream, by using two devices consent holders can understand the health of their waterways and join us in being part of the solution”, says Crouter-Foy. “We look forward to sharing case studies from all industries and sectors who are able to better monitor their waterways through this cutting-edge tech”.

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