Hurunui irrigation funding welcomed
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is welcoming an investment of $3.4 million into the Hurunui Water Project by Crown Irrigation Investments.
“This is fantastic news for North Canterbury after the recent earthquakes and severe drought they have suffered through,” says Mr Guy.
The Hurunui Water Project is a $200 million irrigation scheme capable of irrigating up to 21,000 hectares within an area of around 60,000ha on the south side of the Hurunui River in North Canterbury.
“Water storage has the potential to make a huge difference, given the drought in this part of the country has been going on for nearly three years. A reliable source of water gives farmers and growers certainty and helps boost regional economic development.
“Local farmers and growers, supported by the Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee, have been pushing for this scheme for years. This will help build long term resilience into their businesses and give protection from future droughts.
“Importantly the scheme will have strict nutrient discharge rules and is focussing on irrigating parts of each farm, rather than whole farms. Around 70% of irrigated land will be used for sheep and beef production, with the other 30% being for arable, dairy and other uses.”
The scheme will take and store water from the Hurunui and Waitohi rivers and use a pressurised piped distribution system.
“As a Government we are strong supporters of irrigation and water storage. We have allocated $120 million to Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd over the last three years, and $25 million extra towards the Irrigation Acceleration Fund in last year’s Budget
“A recent report by NZIER found that irrigation contributes $2.2 billion to the national economy and this has the potential to increase further.”
All decisions by Crown Irrigation Investments are made by an experienced, independent board. Strict conditions have to be met including technical feasibility, consents in place and sound governance.