For decades, greedy farmers have been sucking our aquifers dry and polluting them with toxic cowpiss. We're seeing the results this year, with the groundwater-dependent Selwyn River drying up and health warnings around "blue baby syndrome" for water users in Canterbury. Now, the Greens have a plan to put a stop to it:
The Green Party has today launched a member’s bill that will keep water from underground sources, called aquifers, safe from pollution and contamination.
“By making the protection of groundwater quality a matter of national importance and putting stronger rules around discharges to aquifers in the Resource Management Act (RMA) as this Bill does, we’ll ensure that decision makers including Ministers and councils give greater weight to their protection in their planning and decision-making. It’s the very least our waterways deserve.
“Our aquifers - layers of water underground - have not been adequately protected and are vulnerable to pollution from land use.
The full bill is here. The short version: it makes protection of groundwater a matter of national importance under the RMA (which should end over-allocation), it requires resource consent for anything which will increase nitrate levels (such as intensive dairy farming) in groundwater, and it prohibits the contamination or pollution of groundwater. All of which seems like a damn good idea which we should have done years ago.