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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

A message from the Happy Cow People

Updated: Feb 21

Hi Gary,

You can check the nitrate levels of your local river by visiting this interactive map from Statistics NZ: River water quality: nitrogen

You’ll notice that the Forks Stream near Tekapo has a nitrate concentration of 3mg/L.

If you drive approximately 120 km west you’ll get to Hinds, where the Rhodes Stream has a nitrate concentration of 10.9mg/L. A little further north, the Boundary Drain reading is 10.3mg/L. 

To put this into perspective the highest nitrate reading in NZ is 13.5mg/L in the market gardening capital of NZ, Pukekohe. 

I often think of that when someone tells me plant-based agriculture will save the planet, but I digress.

One of the differences between the Forks Stream in Tekapo & the waterways near Hinds, is there are 250,000 dairy cows on the flats of South Canterbury compared with 0 dairy cows in Tekapo.

However, that is about to change. Despite many objections, Environment Canterbury has granted consent for a 15,000 cow dairy farm just outside of Tekapo.

Continue reading here:

And here is his follow-up article which poses some really interesting solutions: Newsletter21 Canterburry Over Represented with Dirty Rivers

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