Written By: - Date published: 4:46 pm, August 24th, 2016 - 14 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, disaster, Environment, farming, farming, sustainability, water - Tags: havelock north, hawke's bay, nature rights, pollution, regional councils, water
Regional Council says Ruataniwha irrigation will produce 'flushing flows'. Now we know EXACTLY what they mean https://t.co/TggBims54H
— Russel Norman (@RusselNorman) August 24, 2016
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.