A plan to extract millions of litres of water out of a Unesco world heritage site, send it by pipe to the coast and ship it to foreign markets for bottling has ignited a campaign over water resources in New Zealand.
An export company is proposing to collect 800m litres a month of the “untapped” glacial waters of Lake Greaney and Lake Minim Mere, mountainous dams that are fed by rainfall on the Southern Alps.
Jen Branje, the founder of protest group Bung the Bore which initiated the petition to parliament, said the government must halt the practice.
“We want a ban on all bottled water exports until we have legislation in place to protect this resource.
“Currently it is being given away willy-nilly for free and it is depleting our own reserves and that shouldn’t be happening.”
According to government figures, New Zealand’s annual freshwater resource is 500tr litres, of which 2%, or 10tr litres, is extracted.
This particular effort is 10 billion litres a year or so. That’s 0.002% of a renewable resource’s annual regeneration capacity.
We’re not exactly hitting Hardin’s limits to Marxian extraction yet, are we?