The Green Party welcomed today's recommendations of the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society after its annual meeting and conference.
The New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society met last week in Dunedin, and has issued a series of recommendations today to address New Zealand's declining water quality.
"Freshwater scientists are sounding the alarm bells loud and clear. We need to listen and act now," Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.
"If the National Government believes in the message of its current Great Science Challenge television advertising campaign promoting science, it should heed the advice of New Zealand's leading organisation of freshwater scientists.
"Our freshwater quality is declining largely because of agricultural intensification, irrigation takes which reduce flows and water levels, and the increased pollution load from more cows and fertiliser.
"National Government Ministers, Fonterra and the dairy industry with its continued expansion plans are in denial about the seriousness and scale of the problem and the need for limits, and controls on land use."
The Freshwater Sciences Society highlights the urgent need for legislation to require state of the environment reporting.
"By abandoning consolidated, five yearly, nationwide state of the environment reporting, the National Government wants to hide the seriousness of the problem," said Ms Sage.
"This Government is failing to protect our rivers and lakes on a number of fronts.
"Instead of welcoming the Manawatu's One Plan as helping prevent further water pollution, Government Ministers attack it.
"The National Government's Resource Management 'Reform' Bill introduced last week will make it more difficult for councils to control land uses such as dairying and set limits on nutrient leaching.
"Clean water and healthy rivers and aquifers are essential for human health, restoring New Zealand's declining international reputation and for a profitable long term future for agriculture.
"Getting serious about water quality and safeguarding habitats for our native fish, insects and water birds is investing in a sound economy," said Ms Sage.