F R E Q U E N T L Y A S K E D Q U E S T I O N S
Who is Cloud Ocean Water?
Cloud Ocean Water is a packaged water (bottles and boxes) company that is investing in Canterbury, with a $60m state of the art world class plant in the suburb of Belfast in Christchurch. This will create 200 jobs for the local economy.
Why has Cloud Ocean built a bottling plant in Christchurch?
Christchurch has a plentiful water supply fed by rainfall and Alpine water – 62 billion cubic metres a year (Source: Environment Canterbury). This water naturally replenishes the region’s aquifers, including the West Melton aquifer from which Cloud Ocean Water draws its water.
Canterbury also has one of the best water supplies in the world, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).
As consumers move away from sugary drinks, packaged water sales are increasing 10 per cent year-on-year globally. The global market will be worth an estimated $230 billion US dollars by 2021 (Source: Euromonitor). That’s more than New Zealand’s annual GDP.
Cloud Ocean Water is helping Christchurch secure a local share of this market. Christchurch is ideally located to serve the Asia Pacific market, which accounts for 42 per cent of the packaged water market.
Cloud Ocean Water’s vision is that Canterbury’s water becomes an iconic global brand, as French multinational Danone has achieved for French Alpine water with leading brand Evian.
How much water is Cloud Ocean taking?
Cloud Ocean Water has consent from Environment Canterbury to take up to 4,320 cubic metres a day of water from the West Melton aquifer, an annual volume of 1,577million cubic metres. This consent has been in place since 1994 and was previously used by a wool scouring company.
Is this volume of water sustainable and will it have an impact on the availability of water in Christchurch?
This water take is sustainable and it will not have an impact on the availability of water in Christchurch.
It sounds like a lot of water, but to put it in context, figures from Environment Canterbury show water bottling takes makeup just 0.007 per cent of all water takes in Canterbury.
The majority of water use in Canterbury is irrigation on farms (64.71 per cent) followed by stock water (24.54 per cent) and town supply (3.91 per cent). Industrial use of water, of which water bottling is a part, makes up 1.09 per cent of water use in Canterbury. The remaining 5.75 per cent is made up a variety of other uses. Source: LAWA (Land, Air, Water, Aotearoa).
Water is not a finite resource. Groundwater sources, such as aquifers are naturally replenished by our climate. Every year, 500 trillion litres of rain falls on New Zealand, which would cover New Zealand 2.1 metres deep or fill Lake Taupo nine times. Humans use around 5 per cent of this water. In New Zealand as a whole, water bottlers export around 28 million litres a year – equivalent to less than a couple of minute’s flow of the Huka Falls.
Cloud Ocean Water’s take was already consented ie. it is putting no additional pressure on Canterbury’s water supply. The impact of this take was assessed at the time the consent was granted.
I heard reports that Cloud Ocean Water is taking water from a deep bore that could affect the Christchurch water supply? Is this true?
Alongside an existing 33m deep bore, Cloud Ocean Water has consent for and has drilled a 170m deep bore. An independent third party has undertaken tests on behalf of Environment Canterbury and the tests have found that the 170m deep bore has no effect on the Christchurch water supply.
Christchurch City Council sometimes imposes water restrictions – so how can this water take be granted?
Water restrictions requested by Christchurch City Council are unrelated to water taken from a bore such as Cloud Ocean Waters.
Domestic water restrictions are due to the limit of the city’s reticulation (piped water) system to supply water when there is reduced pressure caused by high demand. Restrictions are not due to low levels of water in the aquifer.
Cloud Ocean Water, taking water via a bore, has nothing to do with the reticulation system. It will not impact pressure and therefore has no impact on water restrictions.
This was clarified in Environment Canterbury’s report into granting consent for water bottling by Cloud Ocean Water.
Does Cloud Ocean Water have anything do to with the chlorination of Christchurch water?
No. Cloud Ocean Water has nothing to do with the introduction of chlorination into the Christchurch water supply. Christchurch City Council introduced temporary chlorination into the city water supply in March 2018 due to concerns about wellheads.
Cloud Ocean Water has invested $500,000 in its own onsite infrastructure to draw water from the West Melton aquifer, which is unrelated to, and not connected to, the public water supply.
What are the benefits of Cloud Ocean for New Zealand?
Cloud Ocean Water is investing $60m in the Canterbury (and New Zealand) economy by building a state of the art water bottling plant that will create around 200 local jobs, from forklift drivers to lab technicians, production operators and specialist engineers.
Specialist engineers are being brought in from overseas to run the plant initially, as these skills do not currently exist in New Zealand, but over time local staff will be upskilled to take these roles.
There will also be huge benefits for associated industries, such as logistics companies. We are set to become an important customer of Port of Lyttelton.
For more information, take a look at The Cloud Ocean Water Story.
Is water bottling the best use for our water?
Water bottling is a clean and sustainable industry that does not create contaminants and is one of the most efficient industrial users of water, as for every litre of water taken, 1.32 litres of water is used (Souce: Research commissioned by International Bottled Water Association) As a contrast, a litre of milk takes an estimated 1000 litres of water to produce. Source: Dr Dan Collins, hydrologist, NIWA).
There will be minimal waste of the water being taken, there will be no hazardous substances used or hazardous installations and there will be no discharge of contaminants into the water system.
In its report giving consent for Cloud Ocean Water, Environment Canterbury agreed that ‘the change of use [to water bottling] will not result in any actual or potential effect on the environment’ and ‘no person will be affected by the change of use’.
What about the environmental footprint of water bottling?
Bottled water has the lowest energy and water use of all packaged beverages. The industry is one of the smallest and most efficient of all industry water users. Bottles are 100 per cent recyclable. Cardboard boxes are 100 per cent recyclable. Sports drinks, enhanced waters and soda produce nearly 50 per cent more carbon dioxide emissions per serving than bottled water. Juice, beer and milk produce nearly three times as many carbon dioxide emissions per serving than bottled water. Milk, coffee, beer, wine and juice together comprise 28 per cent of a consumer’s total beverage consumption but represent 58 per cent of climate change impact.
Source: International Bottled Water Association.
Cloud Ocean Water is reducing its environmental footprint by pre-forming and blowing its own bottles on site – making it the first bottling plant in New Zealand to do so. The company is looking at opportunities to improve recycling of its bottles and boxes in its main target market of China. For example, one option being investigated is recycling the plastic into sugar sacks for parent company Lingyunhai Sugar Group
For more information on The Water Story, see here.
Does New Zealand need packaged water production?
Packaged water is a growing global market. The abundance and purity of New Zealand water and its proximity to the Asia Pacific market makes it ideally placed to take advantage of this opportunity.
Packaged water adds to our export receipts and helps grow our economy. Packaging water is one of the most efficient industrial uses of water.
Overseas investment in New Zealand
Economic commentators believe New Zealand needs foreign investment. We are a small country that does not have the capacity to fund all our investment needs domestically.
The current investment needs gap has been estimated at $6bn. This can only be met by either borrowing more money overseas or encouraging more overseas investment in New Zealand.
For more information on overseas investment in New Zealand, see this analysis by independent NZ economist and former ANZ Chief Economist Cameron Bagrie.
How do I buy Cloud Ocean water in New Zealand?
Cloud Ocean Water is not currently available in New Zealand. If you are a local distributor or wholesaler interested in supplying Cloud Ocean Water to the New Zealand market, please get in touch here.