Fresh water

Everyone should be able to access clean, fresh water. In New Zealand, swimming in rivers, gathering freshwater kai and drinking pure water is our way of life.

Three clear glasses of water on top of a wooden table, with sunlight behind.

New Zealand’s freshwater is under threat from polluting industries, like intensive dairying.

Too many Kiwis can’t swim in their local rivers due to harmful bacteria and algae. 70% of New Zealand’s rivers are so polluted you can’t swim in them.

Three quarters of native freshwater fish are threatened with extinction and in some areas the drinking water is so polluted it’s unsafe for us to drink. 

Together, we’re standing up for the health of freshwater for generations to come. Learn more about the risks to New Zealand’s rivers, lakes and drinking water, and why it’s so important we protect freshwater.

Read our briefing to the Government on why synthetic nitrogen fertiliser must be phased out.