Funding announced for managed Makauri aquifer recharge trial

File picture

ENVIRONMENTAL organisation Forest and Bird has labelled aquifer recharge an “ambulance at the bottom of the cliff”.

The warning comes in response to the announcement yesterday of a $534,000 grant for the managed aquifer recharge trial at Makauri.

Regional economic development minister Shane Jones announced the grant as part of the Provincial Growth Fund.
Water levels in the Makauri aquifer have been in decline for decades.

The aim of the trial is to use managed aquifer recharge technology to inject water from the Waipaoa River into the aquifer to increase water levels.

It is intended to make more water available on the Poverty Bay Flats.

Forest and Bird freshwater advocate Annabeth Cohen said the root cause of New Zealand’s fresh water crisis has not been addressed. Instead, people are “medicating the symptoms”.

“Managed aquifer recharge is an experimental, engineered solution for depleted and degraded aquifers," she said.

“We are killing our aquifers through pollution and taking too much water.”

Most pollution of aquifers comes from intensive agriculture and most water use in this country goes towards irrigation.

The impact on groundwater ecosystems is not known, Ms Cohen said.

Forest and Bird has called for a moratorium on managed aquifer recharge trials until full ecological assessments can be done.

The largest freshwater habitat in New Zealand is found in groundwater, Ms Cohen said.

“Groundwater is not just a resource, it’s a habitat. Groundwater ecosystems must be valued, protected and better understood.”

ENVIRONMENTAL organisation Forest and Bird has labelled aquifer recharge an “ambulance at the bottom of the cliff”.

The warning comes in response to the announcement yesterday of a $534,000 grant for the managed aquifer recharge trial at Makauri.

Regional economic development minister Shane Jones announced the grant as part of the Provincial Growth Fund.
Water levels in the Makauri aquifer have been in decline for decades.

The aim of the trial is to use managed aquifer recharge technology to inject water from the Waipaoa River into the aquifer to increase water levels.

It is intended to make more water available on the Poverty Bay Flats.

Forest and Bird freshwater advocate Annabeth Cohen said the root cause of New Zealand’s fresh water crisis has not been addressed. Instead, people are “medicating the symptoms”.

“Managed aquifer recharge is an experimental, engineered solution for depleted and degraded aquifers," she said.

“We are killing our aquifers through pollution and taking too much water.”

Most pollution of aquifers comes from intensive agriculture and most water use in this country goes towards irrigation.

The impact on groundwater ecosystems is not known, Ms Cohen said.

Forest and Bird has called for a moratorium on managed aquifer recharge trials until full ecological assessments can be done.

The largest freshwater habitat in New Zealand is found in groundwater, Ms Cohen said.

“Groundwater is not just a resource, it’s a habitat. Groundwater ecosystems must be valued, protected and better understood.”

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you agree that ratepayers in the city and on the Flats should subsidise some of the spending on rural roads in the district?

    See also:
    April 21 editorial, The local share of roads spending