What is going to happen to our rivers if we continue to destroy them? We won’t be able to swim in some rivers because of the sewage going into the rivers from farms. People might get sick. All the fish life will die. We won’t be able to drink water from the rivers. Tourism will be affected and so will the economy. We won’t be able to do any water sports on rivers
Why do we farm so close to our rivers? Farmers need to farm close to rivers for irrigation. In New Zealand the type of farming has generally been suited to the type of land eg sheep farming in the high country or where it is dry and dairy farming in areas like the Waikato where there is lush green grass. Recently there has been a trend towards dairy farming in dry areas like the McKenzie Country and North Canterbury and these areas need massive irrigation to grow grass for the cows.
Why has it come to damming all the rivers? Farmers are wanting to dam rivers in dry areas like Canterbury to make water reservoirs to irrigate the farms. Power companies have also dammed some rivers for hydro power stations.
How does mining pollute rivers? Coal mining produces sulphuric acid and causes the groundwater to be acidic. This flows into streams and rivers killing fish. Gold mining can cause toxic substances and heavy metals like cyanide, lead and zinc to contaminate waterways and destroy river life.
What can mining companies do to protect our rivers? ` They can have stricter controls on waste water quality, better engineering, water treatment and dose the waterways with lime to reduce the acid.
What can we as people do to stop destroying our rivers? We can make people aware of the damage that is being done to the rivers. Protest against energy companies building more hydro dams in our rivers. Protest against mining companies dumping their acid into the groundwater and getting into our rivers. Change the land use around rivers from dairy farming to forestry to stop the animal waste and fertilisers destroying the rivers. Restrict the amount of fertlilser on farms so it doesn’t get washed into rivers. Restrict the amount of stock on farms near rivers to get less sewage.