How bad are our rivers and lakes? Past the tipping point, according to the Prime Minister's chief scientist:
The state of some of the country's waterways have gone beyond a tipping point, according to a report from the Prime Minister's chief scientist.
Some will take more than 50 years to recover, and even then they will never get back to their original state.
The report said the science was clear: New Zealand's fresh waters were under stress because of what we did in and around them.
There's more in the Herald, and the big culprits are urban expansion (from stormwater and industrial waste), and intensive agriculture (from cowshit and fertiliser runoff). Given that agriculture employs only 6% of the workforce, I think its clear who is having a disproportionate effect here.
We need to clean up our rivers. Towns and cities have a role to play, but the primary cause of contamination is farmers, and that's where the burden should lie. And if it drives dirty farmers out of business, so much the better for our environment.