To: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Save our Precious Drinking Water
To: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Due to current unstable and insufficient clean drinking in many towns and cities in NZ and predicted record high temperatures over the summer, serious urgent action needs to be taken. We demand that:
1. A comprehensive and consistent national standard of acceptable drinking water to be implemented immediately, backed up by regular uniform tests.
2. That Council staff report fairly, transparently and regularly on their current situations, so surprises do not occur for communities.
3. Proper resourcing is provided for the highest possible drinking water standards and supply to be maintained.
Why is this important?
New Zealand is in a dire situation regarding a stable consistent clean safe and consistent drinking water supply.
A Government inquiry into the Havelock North drinking water crisis in 2016 has revealed 20% of New Zealand’s drinking water doesn’t meet safety standards.[1,2]
In April 2016, the Ministry of Health warned that "the overall burden of endemic drinking water-borne gastrointestinal disease has been estimated at 18,000 to 34,000 cases per year" - but with this sort of illness going often unreported, it could be higher.
There are presently in December record temperatures all over the country and these show no sign of abating.
High temperatures have been partly causing algal bloom in Taupo, leading doctors to warn the algae may cause rashes, nausea and breathing difficulties. 
The situation in Napier in the first week of December was dire. Huge amounts of water were drawn off and the supply was left wanting, with some discoloured water. Residents were distressed and lacking information.
In the Waitakeres in West Auckland people with tanks are ringing for water and being told it cannot be delivered until after Christmas. On the West Coast there is warnings of a looming problem if the dry weather continues.
We ask that the Minister of Local Government direct Local Bodies in New Zealand to adopt a comprehensive standard for safe drinking water and that Local Bodies adopt this standard and monitor the situation during the summer on a daily basis.
Communities are nervous about their unstable water supply and cannot trust its quality.
A consistent standard must be imposed and accepted as urgent and this standard must be monitored over summer on a daily basis by council staff.
This will mean members of the community will feel more secure about their water supply over summer.
As part of water monitoring, there must also be water restrictions imposed over the hot summer, the conservation message for water must start immediately. Communities need to be directed to conserve at the right times and know why they are conserving. Restrictions need to be put in place now and not left to the last minute.
Communities must have trust that drinking water supply is safe and secure.
1 - https://www.dia.govt.nz/Government-Inquiry-into-Havelock-North-Drinking-Water
2 - https://www.interest.co.nz/news/91258/government-inquiry-havelock-north-water-contamination-finds-widespread-and-systemic
3 - Douse the water deniers http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11958203
4 - http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/98647685/2017-set-to-break-records-for-extreme-weather
5 - https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/safety-concerns-over-algae-in-lake-taupo-causes-ironman-scrap-swimming-leg
6 - https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/99532411/water-shortage-in-napier-worsens-as-consumption-soars and http://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=11953334
7 - https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/west-coast/water-shortage-looms-west-coast