Water Awareness After New Zealand |  CycleForWater: Pétronille, Hugo, César and William cycle in Australia

Water Awareness After New Zealand | CycleForWater: Pétronille, Hugo, César and William cycle in Australia

We struggled to get the bikes back from Auckland airport. We spent two hours there in the rain. Petronel Sartorio laughs after two months of hindsight. At the beginning of January, she took stock. “We started slowly coming down to New Zealand. Then the distances got longer. At first we had rain, rain, rain. The campsites weren’t crazy. We knocked on people’s door, wanting to do the right things to welcome us, to get at least a couple of rooms. But the fact that we’re organized Non-governmental and that we were on TV in Auckland worked in our favour. »

1000 km in New Zealand

At the end of December, cyclists cross the North Island and South Island of New Zealand, ie “1,100 km. North Island: From Auckland to Wellington, via Taupo, Rotorua, Tongariro National Park, Wanganui and Waikana. South Island: A boat from Wellington to Picton through the northern fjords of the South Island, then Picton – Blenheim (Big Wine Country). On Dec. 17, they were off a four-day trail in the mountains, between Blenheim and Hanmer Springs: “200km, 3000m elevation gain, gravel tracks. We have developed techniques. We took turns walking and cycling, taking breaks. Climbing with 40kg is not easy. We are in speed 1 plateau 1.” Camping and rice miso soup with water for cooking rice and bathing in rivers. “It’s all without the (happiness) net. We’re pushing our limits every single day. It’s unbelievable!”

Review communication strategy

If they leave All the flames All the flames Posting daily on social media, CycleForWater members have taken the time to review their communication strategy. “We must cultivate scarcity. Think about how we value and how we transform our experience to give it credit.”

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“We noticed a lot of intensive farming in the North Island. While traversing this mountainous landscape, we also noticed a lot of landslides and erosion. By relating this to New Zealand’s history (widespread deforestation in 19H and XXH century when English settlers arrived) and occasional heavy rains, it is understood that this problem also exists in the country. We also came across Fonterra dairy trucks, which collected 95% of New Zealand’s production. »

Few regulations to spread

The four cyclists met Mike Joy, PhD in ecology from Massey University, New Zealand. Studied nitrate concentration in water and its consequences for population health, with Dr. Chambers (colorectal cancers and premature births). “As in the European Union, the maximum acceptable nitrate concentration in water is 50 mg/l. However, a 2021 study by Dr. Chambers showed that this value was exceeded in 10% of the wells studied. The impact of this concentration could have Higher may have greater consequences since pollution may soon affect public groundwater reserves deep underground lying under the Waimakariri River and supplying the water system of Christchurch (a large city on the island further south).According to Mike Joy, the high concentration of large intensive dairy farms on the Canterbury Plains is the source The main source of nitrate is in the water.The agricultural methods used on this type of farm, such as irrigation and nitrogen mineral fertilization, greatly favor water pollution.In fact, there are very few regulations in New Zealand regarding the application of nitrogen.The current limit set is 190 units per year , with no restrictions on extending bans through the year. Legislation tends to evolve over time, but processes are very slow…”

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Family Christmas

The four cyclists celebrated Christmas as a family in advance, at the beginning of December, at the relatives of a school friend from Pétronille: “We went to pick the tree from the mountains, and we all decorated it together. In the evening we had the opportunity to eat a local meal: venison (venison) which my sister-in-law (the best hunter in the family) hunted.” On December 25, the four friends were on a plane to Australia.

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New country, new galleys

“New country, new galleys”, Coward with a smile Petronell. Since their arrival, they have had to deal with two wheel breaks and a four-way pileup. “We have to manage safety distances (Laughs). » Young people also have to deal with the Australian calendar: “January is like July and August for us. All camps are full. Wild camping and the D System are must-haves, in the rain. “Logistics is not always easy. We have to find our new rhythm.” They must spend two months in Australia, depending on weather conditions.

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