Climate Change - Akaroa Mail May 2016
Climate change is no longer a matter of conjecture or projection, it is a matter of record. Every month is hotter than historical averages and every year is hotter than the last. All over the world climate change is manifest in extreme weather patterns, the displacement of populations and the decrease in the planet’s ability to absorb emissions.
Last year, governments from around the world met in Paris and formally acknowledged that the global situation is dire. National governments, however, are slow to react in any meaningful way so it will be up to local communities to take the initiative.
Flash flooding, drought, fire, high winds, sea level rise and the spread of pests are all events which will result from accelerated climate change. Banks Peninsula is particularly exposed to all of these, but perhaps the most significant is drought.
Water is a very limited resource on Banks Peninsula. We are not connected to the aquifers of the Canterbury Plains which are recharged by the high rainfall on the foothills and Alps. Our ground water and the small steams running down each valley are only recharged by local rainfall.
As a community we must begin to place a much greater importance on how we manage our water. We should think hard about our water usage, including treated waste water from Akaroa. Why do we even think in terms of “waste water” when the Peninsula is so dry? Water storage, water recycling, efficient usage, minimum flows and stream enhancement are all vitally important.
In the last few years the Zone committee, in conjunction with local landowners and other groups, has spent in excess of $350,000 on fencing and stream enhancement. In Koukourarata and Allandale we now have streams that are protected from their source to the sea/ki uta ki tai.
The Zone committee is keen to work in partnership with local landowners and community groups to initiate further work that will improve water quantity, quality and biodiversity. Please contact………………….if you have a project in mind.