James Russell Element editor
A couple of weeks ago young and old turned out for the nationwide Communities for Clean Water ‘Weekend of Action’, where they learned how to monitor water quality, heeled in some native plants along the banks, and cleaned up some litter.
Despite the hard work, it was still a bit on the chilly side for swimming, but the day won’t be long in coming when sitting beside a nice cool river will become a physical impossibility; the temptation to strip off and fling oneself in will be just too great.
Hold up there. That river might not be quite as pure as you were told prior to the election.
Earlier this month the hawk-eyed Adelia Hallett from Carbon News spotted that the wording on the Land Air Water Aotearoa website (lawa.org.nz) had changed, and that the government is no longer claiming that the quality of fresh water is “stable or improving.”
LAWA allows users to search by region, and to further break down that search into bacteria, clarity, nitrogen and phosphorus. The problem is that levels are compared only against other rivers in the region, so give no indication of their actual quality.
If the poor old Hoteo River’s waters are muddy, they’re nothing compared to the language used to talk about fresh water quality in New Zealand.