Councillor concerned about new water bottling application

1:48 pm on 7 November 2018

A Christchurch city councillor says a new consent application from a water bottling plant could have a significant negative impact on the city's water supply.

no caption

Photo: 123RF

A Chinese water bottling company, Cloud Ocean Water, has applied to the regional council for permission to take 1.5billion litres of water from one of the city's deep aquifers.

The water bottling company already has a consent to take water from a shallow aquifer, but now wants to extract it from a deeper aquifer.

The Canterbury Regional Council will first decide if the application should be publicly notified, and City Councillor Vicki Buck said she strongly believed it should be.

Ms Buck said the council had done some modelling on the likely impact, and that showed a significant adverse affect on the council as a drinking water supplier.

"We've done the work and it showed there is a significant adverse affect ... and because of that not only do we want to be heard but, because the impact is on a vast number of people, that actually you should publicly notify."

The Belfast water bottling plant was close to two council drinking water wells, she said.

"We know that area is growing and the extent of growth in that area is very rapid," Ms Buck said.

"We know it's both residential and industrial growth. We know that what we are doing is fully allocating an aquifer and not allowing for the community to have drinking water."

Regional council chair Steve Lowndes said it would be up to council staff to decide if the application is publicly notified.

"Our staff will be charged primarily with assessing the environmental affect of the take. This application is not to take more water but to lower the well into a lower aquifer."

Steve Lowndes said a decision should be made within 20 days.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs