Is this the beginning of the Thin Edge of Local Councils Selling Off the Metered Water?
This from Radio New Zealand:
Council to sell rights to bottled water co.
Ashburton District Council is the process of selling the right to extract billions of litres of water to a bottled water company.
The council is selling Lot 9 in Ashburton's business estate which comes with a resource consent to extract up to 45 litres of water per second from the town's aquifers.
In a statement, the council said it was in the process of selling 10 hectares of land and the prospective buyer was setting up a water bottling plant.
The piece of land comes with two consents from the Canterbury Regional Council, one of which would allow the company to extract the water until 2046.
The second, a recharge consent, means all water taken must be replaced from other sources.
The council said some of that water going back into the aquifer would come from an existing race.
Ashburton District Council would not disclose the potential buyer, citing commercial sensitivity, but said it expected to confirm the sale by June.
The sites stipulated in the consents, granted to the council in 2011, are in a zone which is currently considered to be over allocated.