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Reflections On Science

Time to flush out truth – Iain Rabbitts

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 25th, 2016.

Supplying un-chlorinated water is like driving without a seatbelt, writes water treatment engineer Iain Rabbitts in the NZ Herald, it’s not longer safe – if it ever was. An excerpt (read in full): It wasn’t safe to drive a car then without seatbelts but people had been doing it for over 35 years – why […]

UPDATED: DHBs to control water fluoridation – In the News

John Kerr posted in on April 13th, 2016.

The Government has announced planned legislation that will move responsibility for water fluoridation from local councils to District Health Boards. The decision comes after numerous local councils have grappled with decisions over water fluoridation, balancing expert advice and lobbying from anti-fluoridation campaigners. Previous SMC coverage of fluoride and council decisions can be found here. “Moving […]

New measures for managing freshwater – In the News

John Kerr posted in on February 22nd, 2016.

Stronger rules on farm pollution and a $100 million for cleaning up lakes and rivers are among new initiatives put forward by the Government to improve freshwater management. The measures were announced at the Bluegreens Forum in Tekapo, with a consultation document titled ‘Next steps for fresh water’ released by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith […]

New Zealanders uncertain about water fluoridation

John Kerr posted in on August 11th, 2015.

New Zealanders aren’t getting enough information about the health effects of community water fluoridation to know whether it is a good or a bad thing, suggests a new study. The research, based on a survey of almost 3,500 people, is published today in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. The authors found […]

Evidence of liquid water on Mars – Expert reaction

Laura Goodall posted in on April 15th, 2015.

Scientists have found evidence that liquid water is currently present on Mars – but does this mean that there might be, or have been, life on the Red Planet? Using data collected by the Curiosity rover, the researchers have determined that tiny amounts of water vapour condenses as a liquid in the planet’s soil at […]

Living with drought – Experts respond

John Kerr posted in on January 14th, 2015.

2015 has got off to a very dry start and increasingly drought-like conditions could have a substantial impact on farmers in the coming weeks. Soil moisture measurements in both the North and South Islands are lower than average for this time of year, with irrigation restrictions already in place in parts of Canterbury and North […]

World’s oceans clogged with plastic debris

Laura Goodall posted in on December 11th, 2014.

Almost 269,000 tonnes of plastic pollution may be floating in the world’s oceans, according a team of scientists from around the globe, including New Zealand, whose research was published today in the journal PLOS ONE. The team included researchers from Dumpark Data Science and eCoast, who combined ocean current modelling with data on plastic pollution collected […]

Weed killer found in Auckland’s water supply lakes

Laura Goodall posted in on October 15th, 2014.

Traces of the weed killer metsulfuron-methyl were detected in dams that supply 20 per cent of Auckland’s water, causing them to be closed from May to September this year. The herbicide had been sprayed on forestry blocks near to the dams in the Hunua Ranges and, after unexpected heavy rain, leeched into the water. Watercare Services,  the Auckland water supplier responsible for […]

Court rejects fluoridation challenge – experts respond

Dacia Herbulock posted in on March 7th, 2014.

The High Court has ruled on a high profile court case questioning the legal right of local councils to fluoridate water. A decision from Justice Rodney Harrison, released today, rejected all grounds of a legal challenge from an anti-fluoridation campaign group which disputed South Taranaki District council’s decision to add fluoride to water in Waverley […]

Commisioner calls for clarity on clean water proposals

John Kerr posted in on February 5th, 2014.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is calling on government to pick up its game on water standards. Current proposals for freshwater management are not adequate for protecting water quality to even existing levels in New Zealand, according to the Commissioner. Dr Wright outlined her concerns in a submission on Government’s proposed National Objectives Framework […]

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