As a ratepayer and resident, we note CODC is seeking comfort and balance in having their own economic impact study into proposed changes to water flows in the Manuherikia catchment. We are all community-wide stakeholders in the stewardship of this catchment.
Our current Manuherikia catchment is up against environmental limits in regards natural volume of water; levels of extraction surface and aquifer recharge; nutrient loads from land based activity; loss and extinction natural aquatic biodiversity; turbidity and declining natural flows to flush and sustain the natural water biodiversity and amenity within the Manuherikia and tributaries.
The land based catchment also has finite carrying capacity and limits especially with the growing challenges of climatic disruption. This along with a global threat in water shortage (ODT Thurs 8
June 2017 pg 7) ‘‘with demand for fresh water is projected to grow by over 40 per cent by 2050 and at least a quarter of the world’s population will live in countries with a chronic or recurrent lack of clean water’’.
Current economic impact reports from experience externalise assessment of impacts on environmental values and community wellbeing?
Can the council explain how environmental limits for water quantity, quality, along with land carrying capacity and future long term community wellbeing are being addressed over the catchment in relation to the approved economic impact report? And given the limits of available water, will it look at resilient land use water use practices?
We ask this to be fully informed, as it is our environment and our community that sustains us and it is our environmental stewardship of our water, air and land that will give us resilience and a future. We are looking for leadership in environmental stewardship in order to have a resilient economy based on the environmental limits and needs and wellbeing of the whole community.
While the Government cites William Blackstone (an early authority on English common law) to the effect that ‘‘no one owns the water’’, Blackstone was equally adamant that no water user has the right to pollute, foul, corrupt or divert and stop waterways in ways that deprive