Treated Stock Water for Residents
Treated Stock Water for Residents While Pure Artesian Water May Be Sold Overseas
While some Canterbury residents are relying on drinking treated water from a stock race, billions of litres of pure artesian water in their district could be sold overseas.
“Mayfield households are being stuck with second best at the same time as the Ashburton District Council is reportedly reconsidering selling a property with a water consent to take 40 billion litres a year - the buyer will pay nothing for the water and profit from the sales overseas,” says Primary Industries Spokesperson and Canterbury-based List MP Richard Prosser.
“Mayfield, inland from Ashburton, has been told its bore is so low the town supply will be switched to the stock water race.
“The fact the council will put in a small treatment plant is not the point - the water for Mayfield was intended for stock. One would guess no water from the stock race is being exported.
“Water exporters, mostly foreign countries, should not be getting first dibs on drinkable water.
“Any approved bottling plant should be paying a royalty, 25 per cent of which should stay in the region where the water was sourced.
“That would give the local authority the money it needs to give locals access to their own water, and have it first, before any profiteers, many of them foreign companies, get a look in.
“At the same time, the government must encourage and allow more storage of excess seasonal water in up-country reservoirs, so irrigators can maintain river flows through the dry seasons.
“We have plenty of water in this country, and it is inexcusable that mis-management of the resource has led to this situation,” says Mr Prosser.