“Flushing flows”

Written By: - Date published: 4:46 pm, August 24th, 2016 - 14 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, disaster, Environment, farming, farming, sustainability, water - Tags: , , , , ,


To spell that out, we are at the point now of legitimising the pollution of rivers by using the rivers themselves as toilet flushing mechanisms.

Since the Havelock North gastro outbreak nearly 4,000 people have emailed the Hawke’s Bay regional councillors to oppose the Ruataniwha dam. From Greenpeace,

“People are putting two and two together, and realising that big irrigation schemes like Ruataniwha increase the risk of Havelock North-type outbreaks, because one of the main purposes of the schemes is to enable more industrial dairying,” said Greenpeace Agriculture Spokesperson Genevieve Toop.

“New Zealanders also recognise that if Ruataniwha gets the go ahead, it will be seen as a green light for other big irrigation schemes around the country.

“Irrigation schemes enable more industrial dairy farming, and more industrial dairy farming contaminates our waterways. We can’t have a repeat of what’s happened in the last two weeks in Havelock North. People’s health and the health of our rivers must come before industrial dairying.”

You can send an email here.

The NZ Listener has an overview of the Ruataniwha Dam proposal, and a list of other Think Big irrigation schemes in the pipeline, coming to a town near you soon…

North Otago Irrigation Company Scheme: Major expansion of existing scheme, which takes water from the Waitaki River. Will increase the area under irrigation from 15,000ha to 25,000ha.

Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme: Large storage dam to irrigate 28,000ha of Central Hawke’s Bay.

Central Plains Water (mid-Canterbury): Stage 1, irrigating 20,000ha, has been operating for a year. Planning and capital raising for stage 2 are under way.

Hunter Downs (South Canterbury): Plan to take water from the Waitaki River to irrigate 20,000-30,000ha. Likely to be under construction by next winter.

Manuherikia Valley (Central Otago): Options include major enlargement of the historic Falls Dam to store water to irrigate 25,000ha. Farmer interest is being gauged.

Waimea Dam (Tasman): Proposed storage dam in the Lee Valley to replace the extraction of groundwater for irrigation on the Waimea Plains near Nelson.

Flaxbourne Community Irrigation Scheme (Marlborough): Proposal to take water from the Awatere River to irrigate 2200ha.

Hurunui Water Project (North Canterbury): Proposal for a storage dam on the Upper Waitohi River to irrigate up to 35,000ha.

Wairarapa Water Project: Investigating one or more storage dams to irrigate up to 30,000ha of the Wairarapa Valley.


14 comments on ““Flushing flows””

  1. dukeofurl 1

    The reason for the dam is to provide irrigation , mainly for dairying on the flat plains behind Waipukerau.
    The Tukituki will become an open drain as they cant prioritize flushing over cutting off water for herds of cows

  2. Dilution is the solution to pollution, we are told. Carry on, bau.

  3. I remember when a Southland Times letter writer came up with the answer to polluted rivers – rename them as “drains” – problem solved: no more polluted rivers, just drains, doing their job. The Waikato Drain. The Tukituki Drain. The Mataura Drain. It’s easy, when you know how.

  4. weka 4

    7pm tonight #waatea5thestate water vs intensive farming – @greencatherine @NZGreens @RFStew @GreenpeaceNZ Dr Mike Joy @FedFarmers


  5. Macro 5

    NZ is already over populated with cows – last count 6.5 million of them. That is the effluent output of around 90 million people, and that output is largely untreated and eventually washes into our water ways and streams. Over the past year around 300 farmers have been prosecuted for violations of emptying effluent directly into waterways – and that is obviously only those who have been found out.
    We don’t need any more of these flushing meadows.

    • weka 5.1

      “emptying effluent directly into waterways”

      Is that from milking sheds?

      • Macro 5.1.1

        Yep! and the like – one farmer around here pumped thousands of litres directly into the Waihou just before it empties into the Firth – and the main breeding ground for NZ’s favourite fish Snapper.

  6. Garibaldi 6

    I hope everyone did watch waatea @7pm tonight. Very sobering indeed. A total shift in our whole agricultural paradigm is an urgent necessity. Are we up to it?

  7. mickysavage 7

    Thanks Weka.

    Behind child poverty I think this is the issue that shows that New Zealand has lost its way. Who would have thought that we could no longer swim in our rivers nor even drink water from them safely.

  8. mauī 8

    This will be great, just when the Tukituki starts turning that nice healthy green colour we can flush the toxic soup turd out to yonder. Then we start over again. Maybe we can sell this as a tourist attraction. The magical river that has all the colours of the rainbow and changes from blue to green to black. Ride down the river in a zorb ball, don’t forget your chemical suit and your magic gastro pills.

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