PR: Dairy-led water accords do nothing to stop intensification – freshwater campaigners
4pm Monday, September 2, 2019
Dairy industry-led water accords have done nothing to stop intensification over the last decades, which has led to the
decline of the health of the country’s rivers and lakes, say freshwater campaigners. And there is no commitment from
dairy leaders to stop further intensification.
Today’s announcement from dairy leaders on their Sustainable Dairy: Water Accord ignores the significant intensification of dairying that has occurred since the industry first put an accord in place.
“Since 2003, dairy leaders have been using voluntary accords to suggest they are caring for the country’s waterways
while at the same time the use of nitrogen fertiliser and the number of cows have continued to climb, with the health of
rivers and lakes and the public paying the price,” says Choose Clean Water campaign spokesperson Marnie Prickett.
The Dairy and Clean Streams accord was signed in 2003 and the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord began ten years later
in 2013. Despite this, the pressure from intensive dairy on rivers, lakes and groundwater has increased.
“Dairy industry leaders have failed to act responsibly to curb intensification. Despite warnings from many that the intensification of agriculture, particularly dairy, would have serious consequences
for freshwater and for the country,
dairy leaders have continued to encourage farmers to intensify and all New Zealanders have witnessed the consequences
this has had for our rivers and lakes.”
“Dairy leaders fail to accept responsibility for the enormous impact intensive dairy farming has had on fresh water.
They do not include any statistics on the state of waterways and ignore important information such the fact that the
health of waterways, measured through biological indicators – the life that lives in rivers and streams – is declining
at a majority of sites.”
“Where are the freshwater scientists celebrating the dairy industry’s influence on water quality? They can’t because
intensive dairy has been a disaster for our rivers and lakes and its impacts remain high with no commitment from dairy
leaders to stop further intensification.”