Water Pollution Through Urban and Rural Land Use and Freshwater Allocation in New Zealand

1775 Words Jun 2nd, 2013 8 Pages
Water pollution through urban and rural land use and freshwater allocation in New Zealand
New Zealand has 425,000 kilometres of rivers and streams, almost 4,000 lakes larger than 1 hectare in size, and about 200 groundwater aquifers (Ministry for the Environment, 2010). By international standards, freshwater in New Zealand is both clean and in good supply. However, some aspects of water quality are getting worse in areas dominated by intensive land use. Demand for water is increasing, particularly in areas that are already water-stressed. Water pollution is becoming an ongoing problem for New Zealand. Both Urban and Rural land uses are creating pollution in our water and degrading the quality of our water. Growing demand for water
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The Act ties the granting of water permits for consumptive purposes to specific activities on or at particular sites. (Skelton, 2007).

New Zealand needs to reduce our water usage if we want to keep the resource sustainable. According to studies completed by the Ministry for The Environment (2010), there were more than 20,500 resource consents for taking water. Around two-thirds of consents permit taking water from groundwater sources, however, the volume of water allocated from surface water sources (rivers and streams) is four times higher than from groundwater sources. In 2010, the majority of consumptive weekly allocations were for irrigation (46 per cent) and hydro generation (41 per cent). The remainder is shared among public drinking water supply, industry and stock watering. All of the volume for the hydro generation is for the Manapouri hydro take in Southland, which discharges the allocated fresh water to sea. [ (MFE, 2010) ]
Use of weekly allocated water in New Zealand, 2010

Retrieved from http://www.mfe.govt.nz

Agriculture and Freshwater
Agricultural land use has a significant impact on water quality and the availability of fresh water, particularly in New Zealand’s lowland streams. The amount of pollution from diffuse sources, such as urban storm water, animal effluent and

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