Rodney Hide, who thinks nothing of spending billions on tax cuts for the well-off, is baulking at spending “some tens of millions” to improve water supply quality in rural New Zealand. A quick google of ‘water borne disease new zealand’ reveals the cost of doing nothing.
- There are 800,000 people drinking water that the Ministry of Health classifies as ‘at risk’
- A Ministry of Health report estimates that there are 33,700 cases of gastro-intestinal disease each year as a result of contaminated drinking water.
- That’s tens of thousands of lost work days, thousands of hours of medicial professionals’ time used, other health costs, and (let’s not know the price of everything but the value of nothing) a pretty nasty week or so for the people who get sick.
- Small, rural communities have been the main victims of outbreaks of water-borne disease.
- Children attending schools with poor quality water at 1.3 times more likely to get gastro-intestinal disease.
- As the report states “drinking water of poor microbiological quality, low public health grading or that receives inadequate treatment has been demonstrated to contribute to the burden of gastro-intestinal disease in New Zealand”
- Israel eliminated water-borne gastro-intestinal disease in a decade with the implementation of good water quality standards.
Now that some facts are on the table, does it really seem like a good idea to penny pinch on water quality?
– The Waterboy