Our water is a valuable resource

LETTER

Water theft by stealth sucks! Should we sell this resource at all? Why is there a delay in charging for bottled water? What happened to all those pre-election promises by the coalition?

We are allowing the wholesale pillage of our pristine aquifer water reserves by overseas investors who are reaping huge returns at our expense. It is not a limitless supply, as some people think, it is a reservoir of pure rock-filtered water, that can take tens of years to replenish — and be removed by tapping into springs and lower-level aquifers.

Although we have excess surface water, of which 90-plus percent drains into the sea, it is not this water that bottlers are tapping into.

No bottler is taking lake or river water for bottling, nor are they tapping into the upper aquifers that are already being polluted by nitrates and being depleted by excess irrigation. (See Gisborne potentially replenishing its aquifer, and nitrate pollution in Canterbury Plains aquifers.)

Our lower aquifers are limited in their quantity and quality only to continually be removed for bottling.

One company takes 250 million litres per year. How much is taken by all bottling companies?

I believe Fiji placed a per-litre price on its bottled water. It is well overdue that our Government did the same and let the arguments of where that fund is distributed to take place later.

This resource should be regarded as the same as coal, iron sands, gold, greenstone, oil and gas, and should be giving a return to all New Zealanders.

It is not “just water”, but a very sought-after resource of growing value.

Why are we allowing off-shore companies to help themselves to our resource?

W. Brown

Water theft by stealth sucks! Should we sell this resource at all? Why is there a delay in charging for bottled water? What happened to all those pre-election promises by the coalition?

We are allowing the wholesale pillage of our pristine aquifer water reserves by overseas investors who are reaping huge returns at our expense. It is not a limitless supply, as some people think, it is a reservoir of pure rock-filtered water, that can take tens of years to replenish — and be removed by tapping into springs and lower-level aquifers.

Although we have excess surface water, of which 90-plus percent drains into the sea, it is not this water that bottlers are tapping into.

No bottler is taking lake or river water for bottling, nor are they tapping into the upper aquifers that are already being polluted by nitrates and being depleted by excess irrigation. (See Gisborne potentially replenishing its aquifer, and nitrate pollution in Canterbury Plains aquifers.)

Our lower aquifers are limited in their quantity and quality only to continually be removed for bottling.

One company takes 250 million litres per year. How much is taken by all bottling companies?

I believe Fiji placed a per-litre price on its bottled water. It is well overdue that our Government did the same and let the arguments of where that fund is distributed to take place later.

This resource should be regarded as the same as coal, iron sands, gold, greenstone, oil and gas, and should be giving a return to all New Zealanders.

It is not “just water”, but a very sought-after resource of growing value.

Why are we allowing off-shore companies to help themselves to our resource?

W. Brown

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