Mon 21 Aug 2017 1:53AM

Lessons learnt - on the journey to more Drinkable Rivers

JS James Samuel Public Seen by 399

Cleaning up the rivers is a great big hairy and complex goal, presently summarised as #toomanycows. There are massive economic incentive to keep dairying going and well funded organisations motivated to do so.

But while replacing cows with plants is a great vision, it comes with its own complexities. I find myself driven by the question: "How we can help farmers transition from cows to, something else that can heal and regenerate the land and water?


James Samuel Mon 21 Aug 2017 1:56AM

Marnie Prickett states it plainly: NZ needs to change farming for environment's sake


In the past month, two reports have found the Government's economic strategy is pushing our world-renowned natural environment beyond repair, hurting the country and threatening our future.

The first report came from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Its 2017 Environmental Performance Review found New Zealand lacks a long-term vision to address the worsening problems we have of polluted water, dying wildlife and disproportionately high greenhouse gas emissions.

The second report arrived last week from the desk of the Prime Minister's chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman.

When interviewed on his report on the state of the country's freshwater, Sir Peter said, "The reality is we cannot keep going as we have been."


James Samuel Mon 2 Oct 2017 12:45AM

Hi @rosiewalford - thanks for joining up.

We chose to establish this Loomio platform in case the dialogue took off, and we found ourselves with lots of people wanting to engage and contribute to the big hairy audacious goal of drinkable rivers.

That hasn't happened, but there have been lots of conversations with people across all sectors from science to government, economics to agriculture, monitoring tech and IOT (Internet Of Things) to blockchain.

There seem to be two main areas that need to be advanced, one is remote monitoring and the other sharing of data in a publicly understandable and easy to consume manner.

There are projects underway that are contributing to both of these and for now we will, like the rivers we care about, let them flow and keep an eye of them as they mature.


Rosie Walford Mon 2 Oct 2017 12:53AM

a while back a vodafone leader mentioned to me that they have the technology that could easily achieve remote monitoring of rivers, ideal to install downstream of each farm, i'd say. I connected him to FreshWaterFarms at the time, but didn't follow up. Is it happening anywhere in NZ?


James Samuel Mon 2 Oct 2017 1:03AM

There's a great initiative focussed on the Waikato, and I've spoken to all parties. The Riverwatch team just completed a successful PledgeMe campaign and the monitoring tech should be available by December. The IOT side is underway and I'm connecting with them in a week to see how it's going.

Read more: New approach to engaging Māori with river data launched

It would be great if you were able to connect me to someone in the Vodafone team who can tell me what they're up to.