Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS -

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

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