Sunday, July 25, 2021
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Safer Drinking Water Key Issue For New Zealanders


Water New Zealand says events such as the Havelock North
contamination crisis and the frequent number of boil water
notices in some parts of the country have led to drinking
water becoming identified as our number one infrastructure
issue.

Chief executive Gillian Blythe says the finding
in the Aotearoa
2050
report by Te Waihanga, Infrastructure Commission,
reflects a growing awareness of the long term
under-investment in water infrastructure.

“When
people become aware of drinking water contamination events
and they see sewage spilling into the streets and onto our
beaches, it becomes very obvious that investment in water
infrastructure has been overlooked for too
long.”

The report found that four out of five New
Zealanders want to see an increased investment in water
networks to solve current issues.

However, estimates
from the Government have shown the scale of the challenge
ahead -$120b to $185b over the next 30 years.

“We
need to tackle this in the most efficient, fair and
resilient way. Ensuring safe access to drinking water and
protecting our environment is a vitally important national
conversation.”

This latest report comes on the back
of the Ministry of Health’s Annual Report on
Drinking-water Quality 2019-20 which shows that while
overall compliance with drinking water standards for public
drinking water suppliers improved slightly in the past year,
there’s been a decline in compliance levels amongst
utilities supplying populations of between 501 and 10,000
people.

“The findings also showed that 17 percent of
New Zealanders who received publicly supplied water were
provided with water that did not fully meet the drinking
water standards.

“What is also concerning is that
five percent of people were supplied with drinking water
last year that did not meet bacterial standards. This means
that the water had become contaminated with e-coli from
either human or animal waste.

“While there are some
positive trends in the latest data, these findings point to
a continued decline in drinking water quality in some parts
of New
Zealand.”

© Scoop Media

 



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