Home' Northern Outlook : October 13th 2012 Contents 10 October, 2012
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Irrigation options: More water infrastructure solutions are needed in Canterbury and quickly.
Water infrastructure a must
Allowing water storage in Lake Coleridge
finally provides farmers in Central and
Mid Canterbury with the certainty they
need that farming can be made more
IRRIGATION NZ says progress by Central
Plains Water and Trustpower in advancing
irrigation options is encouraging -- but more
water infrastructure solutions are needed
in Canterbury and quickly.
IrrigationNZ Chairman John Donkers
applauded the recent announcement by
Central Plains Water of an alliance with
Solid Energy to jointly project-manage the
first stage of the irrigation scheme.
"Solid Energy has a skill base which will
be very helpful to Central Plains Water and
they potentially have a lot of experience in
designing and implementing infrastructure
to offer the irrigation sector."
The announcement that
Trustpower has been successful in
applying to amend the Rakaia River
Water Conservation Order is also
fantastic news, says Mr Donkers.
"Allowing water storage in Lake
Coleridge finally provides farmers in
Central and Mid Canterbury with
the certainty they need that farming
can be made more sustainable. This
is a good way to use existing
infrastructure to allow greater
reliability. Many irrigators have
been concerned with the coming
Land and Water Plan requirements.
The Lake Coleridge decision
provides some balance as it ensures
greater reliability of irrigation,
which gives farmers confidence they
can carry on."
But Mr Donkers warned that
while Central and Mid Canterbury
was now well catered for, other parts
of the region urgently need their own
water infrastructure solutions.
"There are still decisions needed
around the Rangitata River in South
Canterbury and progressing a
solution for North Canterbury. The
farming community will be excited by these
developments, but large areas of
Canterbury are still waiting for water
storage options to provide similar
Policy change information
Canterbury irrigators are urged to attend
the free INZ workshops that will continue
throughout October in Leeston, Waimate,
Hinds, Amberley, Hororata and Pleasant
Point. These function to update Canterbury
irrigators on policy changes affecting them.
The proposed Canterbury Land & Water
Regional Plan and compulsory water
meters from November 10 (for water takes
over 20 litres per second) will be discussed.
representatives will attend, giving
irrigators "the perfect opportunity to ask
questions about looming water
management deadlines", says IrrigationNZ
Chief Executive Andrew Curtis.
"We urge irrigators to turn up as they
have the opportunity to talk directly with
the Commissioners who were recently given
another three-year term. At the same time
the workshops offer practical advice and
real life case studies in areas such as GPS
Application and Variable Rate Irrigation.
Audited Self Management (ASM) will also
feature and we expect a lot of interest in
this topic given the Land and Water Plan s
future requirement for this."
Christina Robb, Environment
Canterbury s Programme Director for
Water and Land, says the Making
Irrigation Pay workshops are the ideal
place for farm owners and farm workers to
find out more and ask how water quality
and quantity limits are being introduced.
"We are already working with farmers
and communities helping to find practical
solutions for managing to limits. This
includes on-farm improvements to systems
and practices, backed up by robust farm
planning and nutrient budgeting. The
commitment from IrrigationNZ to promote
on-going improvement in water efficiency is
an important part of the work needed to
support farmers in adapting to the
introduction of water quality (and)
quantity, and nutrient limits."
See more about the workshops on
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