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Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed new grant funding of over $1.1 million for two irrigation projects in South Canterbury and Central Otago.

Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd has agreed development grant funding of $339,875 for the Orari-Temuka-Opihi-Pareora (OTOP) irrigation conceptual design and costing project, which Environment Canterbury (ECAN) is managing.

“This is an important project because South Canterbury and particularly the greater Opihi catchment have struggled with water shortages and drought for many years,” says Mr Guy.

The project will build on the wide range research carried out in the broader South Canterbury region over recent years, and look at the potential viability of the scheme in terms of water availability, infrastructure options and commercial feasibility.

Earlier this week Crown Irrigation Investments also announced $815,000 funding into the Manuherikia Water Project in Central Otago, which will allow a Falls Dam proposal to move forward.

“This funding will give six independent irrigation companies in the Manuherikia valley the opportunity to amalgamate under a single legal entity, WaterCo Limited. It will help them develop technical, environmental and financial studies to both improve existing irrigation reliability and expand the current area of farmland and orchards under irrigation.

“Irrigation schemes in other parts of the country have brought real economic and environmental benefits. A reliable source of water gives certainty to farmers and growers, helps them plan ahead and deal with droughts and dry spells.” 

All decisions by Crown Irrigation Investments are made by an experienced, independent board and management team. Strict conditions have to be met including sound governance and matched funding.

More information is available at www.crownirrigation.co.nz.

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