One of Christchurch City Council’s priorities is supposedly to improve the quality of waterways. It’s also a requirement of the Environment Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.
They are considering a community water partnership programme focused on educating, engaging and empowering communities to help stop contaminants getting into stormwater.
The first step is to identify and understand what motivates people, the barriers to people taking action and the emotional triggers that prompt change. They have now revealed the results of a survey done late in 2017 focusing on these areas.
More than 400 people did the survey, and they can see from the results that the community cares about the health of waterways. The vast majority of people (90 per cent) think the waterways are natural assets and 75 per cent describe them as taonga (treasures).
The results also show they have some challenges to improve the quality of our waterways. While nearly 60 per cent of people who completed the survey said our waterways were in poor or very poor health, only 55 per cent of respondents said they knew where storm water went once it entered the drain network.
What is encouraging is that the vast majority of people are prepared to make lifestyle changes (80% or more) to reduce pollution and 56 percent of those surveyed would be willing to take part in waterways clean-up activities.
This seems also pretty representative of City Councils around the country, focusing on the minute, and ignoring all the elephants in the room. Concentrating on what people can do, rather than what the Council should be doing. Such as it’s responsibility to provide citizens with sufficient potable water. Such as mitigating known hazards.
Not that peoples actions and attitudes aren't important, but I'll lay you any odds you like that the 20-80 rule applies. It would be really interesting to compare the type, volume and consequences of stormwater discharge contamination with what the City pumps out as wastewater which are clearly missed out of the report.
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