Stuff article: Canterbury water could be ‘undrinkable’ in 100 years because of nitrates

Users of Canterbury’s world-renowned drinking water have been issued a dire warning: “Pollution could render it undrinkable in 100 years.”

The warning comes from the Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Dr Alistair Humphrey, as concern builds over nitrates entering the water supply from dairy farms.

In the latest publicly-funded Frank Film episode – Dairy farming and the water we drink – Humphrey warns of the risk of nitrate contamination in Christchurch’s water.

He has assured residents their drinking water is currently safe to consume. His fear is for the future, and a predicted nitrate influx. “Modelling from Environment Canterbury shows that nitrates on the north side of the Waimakariri River are flowing underneath that river toward the Christchurch urban drinking water supply,” Humphrey said.

See article