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Expert encourages public to adopt permaculture approach to rivers in the Hutt

Submitted by on July 31, 2016 – 9:42 pm
Sergio VallesiExpert urges new way to appreciate Hutt River

While many Lower Hutt residents love the Hutt River, they can take it for granted.

Next Monday an international expert will urge residents to look at Hutt River in a new way so it can be better appreciated and cared for.

New Zealand-based Italian water engineer Sergio Vallesi will explain his approach at a public talk Hutt River – Shifting Paradigms at the Dowse Art Museum on 25 July.

Mr Vallesi has put the talk together to appeal to residents rather than specialists.

He will share examples from around the world about sustainable management of rivers and river systems, from ancient techniques to the present. It will include the role Hutt River has had in tikanga Maori.

The sustainable management of Hutt River can involve all of the community, so every resident can contribute, Mr Vallesi says.

“We can reconnect with water as a living element and see the river in a completely new way.

“The challenge humanity is currently facing is not a water crisis, but a shortage of values around water and appreciation of how to fairly share water while respecting its functions,” he says.

“This sharing, which has to include human, animal, plant and mineral, down to microbial level, has been common practice for many cultures over much of history. Combining these learnings with modern uses and requirements leads to new perspectives on sustainable water management.”

Mr Vallesi also has an international reputation as a permaculture designer. Permaculture is the development of ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.

Over the past 10 years he has worked with New Zealand and Australia businesses involved in irrigation and renewable energy, including hydro-electric.

He has been based in New Zealand since winning an international scholarship to work on an artificial reef research project with a New Zealand-based global coastal and marine consulting firm. His research has included the environmental impact of electricity generation and he has trained professionals in the New Zealand and Australian hydro-electric sector.

Hutt River – Shifting Paradigms is at the Dowse Art Museum on 25 July, 7pm.

 

For more information contact Tom Cardy, Communications Advisor, on 04  570  6780, 027 403 9469 or Tom.Cardy@huttcity.govt.nz

Image attached: Water engineer Sergio Vallesi

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