Dec 7, 2017 - A damning report on the state of New Zealand’s drinking water has called for mandatory treatment of the country’s water supply — but a battle is looming over the cost of making that a reality. The previous Government launched a two-stage inquiry into drinking water in September 2016, following an outbreak of gastroenteritis in Havelock North linked to contaminated drinking water which made over 5000 people sick.
A report from the second stage of the inquiry, released yesterday, highlighted “a widespread systemic failure” to supply safe drinking water to the country, with 20 percent of Kiwis supplied water that was not “demonstrably safe” to drink.
It said there were up to 100,000 cases of waterborne illness in New Zealand each year — although some thought the real number could be higher — while there was a degree of complacency from those tasked with managing the water supply system.
The inquiry had received a number of submissions and evidence indicating untreated drinking water was “unacceptably risky in today’s circumstances”, and recommended making it mandatory for drinking water to be treated.
It also recommended the creation of an independent drinking water regulator to monitor supplies around the country and crack down on offenders.
The report estimated the cost of replacing the country’s deteriorating water pipelines, some of which were at risk of collapse, at $2.2 billion.
Councils responsible for water - Parker
Speaking after the report’s release, Attorney-General David Parker said the inquiry had made a clear case for mandatory water treatment.
Continue here to read the full article by Sam Sachdeva on NewsRoom || December 7, 2017 |||