Karen D B.
started this petition to
Takaka Fresh Water Advisory Group of Tasman District Council
Hi, fellow nature carers. Further water allocations would cause increased pollution in the karst Te Waikoropupu Springs which are the largest in New Zealand and have exceptionally clear water. The clarity is among the highest in the world. It is a wahi tapu (sacred place) for local Maori, the indigenous people.Approximately ninety‐one thousand people have visited it in the last year. For many it has a powerful atmosphere of timelessness.
The Tasman District Council proposes to increase current water allocations in its catchment area by 70%, largely for dairy farms. This will not only decrease water flow in the rivers during summer but will lead to greater pollution,particularly by nitrate, of the aquifers that feed the Springs. Although the aquifer is a complex system as a whole, the main recharge area of the Springs is in the Upper Takaka Valley. Farms there are mainly on free draining gravel soils and, because of high rainfall, readily leach nitrate. It is well proven that nitrate from dairying activities can pollute waterways and ground water.
The aquifers' unique microscopic, underwater biota, which so far have worked to keep the present high quality and clarity, will be increasingly challenged if further irrigation is allowed. By the time we realize the nitrates have killed off the biota, thus destroying the Springs as we know them, it will be too late. Correction is not a possible option.
Because routine water quality testing by Council has been only at three monthly intervals, a local group, Friends of Golden Bay, have been taking weekly samples sinceFebruary 2016. These confirm that nitrate levels are at a critical level, not to be exceeded, of 0.4mg/litre, this advice being from the National Institute ofWater and Atmospheric Research, to ensure the protection of this underground biota. The tests have alsorevealed seasonal variation that was not apparent in the quarterly sampling
The Takaka Fresh Water Advisory Group had decided on restricting water take to above the Mean Annual Low Flow (MALF) to protect the rivers and aquifers but then Council hired an expert who stated that 70% to 90% of MALF was acceptable and is now pressing the Advisory Group to accept this advice. This would result in greater water allocation so is not acceptable..
The Tasman District Council have already over‐allocated water in the Waimea catchment but it would seem they haven't learned from this previous negative experience.
Please request that Tasman District Council refrain from further allocations. This is too important to get wrong!!
Submissions end on 31st January
The contact email address for submissions is: [email protected]/* */