Media release

Celebrating World Water Day 2019

Thursday 21 March 2019

Water is a precious and vital resource around the world, including here in Otago.

22 March is World Water Day. This year, the theme is “leaving no one behind”—the intent is safe water for everyone.

“Water is the top priority for the Otago Regional Council,” said ORC Chief Executive Sarah Gardner. “It is at the heart of what we do, and we work hard to protect our water resources to ensure we provide for ecological and human health when we permit water use.”

“Our water is everyone’s responsibility. Whether you use it for irrigation, or you wash your car with it, or put contaminants into it from industry, you’re making an impact on water, and need to consider how your activities impact water resources,” Mrs Gardner said.

Regional councils will establish a policy framework for water management in a community-led way under the National Policy Statement: Freshwater Management.

“We welcome this approach because it means everyone can be involved to set values and objectives for waterways near where they live,” said Mrs Gardner.

“World Water Day is a good opportunity for us all to think about what water means to us, and check that we’re doing all we can to look after it.”

ORC routinely takes water samples from over 90 sites in Otago to test for concentrations of nutrients and bacteria. ORC also manages over 200km of floodbanks and 500km of drains, respond to oil spills in our coast and harbour, and undertakes additional water testing over the summer months to monitor water quality in popular swimming spots.




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