Last month, we learned that ECan was ignoring blatant water theft by Canterbury's farmers. The public clearly wasn't happy with this lax enforcement of the law, and now they've been forced to finally crack down on it:
Canterbury's regional council ECAN is getting tough with farmers who have not installed water meters, after three years of them being required, it says.
The announcement comes weeks after Forest and Bird obtained documents revealing that one in five farmers in the region with consents to take water had serious non-compliance issues.
ECAN chief executive Bill Bayfield told Nine to Noon staff had put farmers on notice that they now had ten days to comply with the rules.
Good. As the article points out, you can't manage what you don't measure. The persistent failure to measure actual water use by farmers is a big part of why Canterbury's water is so badly managed. And now we're forcing them to actually measure how much they use, hopefully we can move on to the next step: making them pay to use this valuable public resource.