The recent decision by the Land and Environment Court to allow a water bottling facility in Theresa Park at the foothill of the Southern Highlands highlights the need for a moratorium on similar approvals until groundwater extraction can be proven sustainable, says the state’s peak environment group.
“Bottled water is marketed as a ‘pure’ alternative to tap water although it is anything but good for the health of our natural environment,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW executive director Cate Faehrmann said today.
“The state’s water resources will come under increasing pressure as the impacts of climate change take hold, yet this water bottling plant in Theresa Park will be allowed to extract up to 30 megalitres of bore water per year. Studies have shown Australia’s underground aquifers may already be over-allocated and we must not risk their exhaustion by allowing further water extraction for commercial purposes.
“The sustainability of bottled water is called further into question when you consider the large amount of energy spent on extracting groundwater, transporting, bottling and packaging it. It takes about 200ml of oil to produce an average 600ml bottle of water.
“Only three months after Premier Nathan Rees announced a ban on commercially bottled water from all government departments and agencies, it’s inconceivable that additional groundwater extraction for bottling has since been approved in NSW.
“The Nature Conservation Council calls on the State Government to demonstrate an understanding of the true value of our precious water resources by placing a moratorium on any further extraction of groundwater for commercial purposes,” Ms Faehrmann said.