Environment Canterbury (ECAN) must take responsibility for Canterbury’s waterways running dry, and wind back water takes so that even in times of low rainfall, water is protected, the Green Party said today.
There are several reports of spring-fed headwater tributaries of Christchurch’s Ōtākaro/Avon River drying up completely.
“There were warning signs that taking too much water on the plains from aquifers that feed the Ōtākaro/Avon River had a detrimental impact on city streams and rivers,” said Green Party Canterbury spokesperson Eugenie Sage.
“ECAN must review existing water consents and wind back takes for irrigation from rivers and aquifers on the plains, so that city rivers don’t run dry.
“Waterways running dry destroys habitat for fish and birdlife, and destroys the rivers’ recreation values.
“Christchurch’s rivers are the life blood of the city, and a key part of what makes Christchurch unique.
“Christchurch City Council needs to improve stormwater treatment and prevent overflows from the city’s sewage pumping station during storms to improve water quality in our city rivers,” said Ms Sage.