Late last year, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment released a report on land use and water quality. This sparked considerable debate in the media, including vastly different opinions from scientists. This was repeated when the Government released its draft plan for managing fresh water.
This reminded us a little of the climate change debate, which Gareth investigated in the book Poles Apart. So we convened a panel of scientists that represented a range of views to have a conversation unfettered by politics. You can see who was involved in the process, how it worked, and what issues the scientists agreed on here.
Having listened to the scientists debate the issues, we were able to develop a better understanding of what has happened to our water and why. Finally we came to better understand the source of disagreements between scientists, which are generally not narrow questions of science, but judgements about what we should be trying to achieve.
This process allowed us to form a reasonable person’s view on what needs to be done to care for our rivers.