Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Manuherikia water group achieves major milestone

Media release


8 January 2013

Manuherikia water group achieves major milestone

The Manuherikia community has reached a milestone in their investigation of future catchment water management options.

A pre-feasibility study funded by the irrigation companies, the Government’s Irrigation Acceleration Fund, and the Otago Regional Council, has been completed and presented at a series of meetings in the catchment.

Because of this, the Manuherikia Catchment Water Group is facilitating the community’s working together to develop and safeguard water supplies for present and future irrigation needs in the area.

Group chairman Allan Kane said the users in the catchment are now deciding on whether to proceed to the full feasibility stage of their investigation. Potential funders include the irrigators, Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF), and the Otago Regional Council.

Mr Kane said that at one of the group’s recent meetings, in the Alexandra Town Hall, irrigators and townspeople alike came to hear the group’s consultants outline the options for future water management in the catchment.

“It was great to have so many positive people turn up armed with some really well thought out questions,” Mr Kane said. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I am thrilled to see people realising this. We started the project hearing that the Manuherikia is a water-short catchment, but after looking at the figures we discovered there is more than enough water. The problem is that it is not there when irrigators need it. The solution is not more water, but more storage.”

Mr Kane said that with all of the pre-feasibility studies completed, the meetings were a chance for people to find out about the various options for providing the catchment with more reliable and plentiful water supply for irrigation. The studies also included high-level assessments of social, economic, and environmental impacts.

If the full feasibility study proceeds, it will outline per hectare costs for current irrigators and those in potentially new irrigated areas, for the proposed 27m increased wall height at Falls Dam. The other option of constructing a new spillway at Falls Dam involves bringing the dam in line with the Building Act and increasing the wall height by 5m. Mr Kane said this latter option was the minimum required to address water allocation issues, but, if adopted, would provide enough extra water to provide full reliability of supply to existing irrigators in the Manuherikia Valley.

“However, if Falls Dam were raised 27m, we would not only be able to provide full reliability to current irrigators but, when coupled with a new ‘high race’ to replace the Omakau Irrigation Company race, we could irrigate a further 14,500 ha of farmland. The economic and social benefits to the area would be huge. Because the new dam would increase the stored water 10-fold, we could provide a flow regime to look after in-stream habitat and recreational values. It would be a win-win for both farmers and the environment,’’ Mr Kane said.

The feasibility study would contain much of the information needed to renew the deemed permits currently held by five of the six irrigation schemes in the catchment, he said.

Mr Kane said one of the benefits of the group working collaboratively as a catchment was that individual scheme companies would not have to separately fund their own assessments.

The group is waiting for confirmation of funding for the feasibility study, and would put the job of preparing the report out to tender midway through 2013.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Auckland Looks Long Term To Pay-Per-Km Road Pricing

Aucklanders can expect to be paying variable rates per kilometre to travel on the city's most congested roads under an emerging transport strategy being formulated by the government and the Auckland Council. More>>

ALSO:

Despite Promises: Government Extends Iraq Deployment

Cabinet has agreed to extend New Zealand’s contribution to the joint New Zealand-Australia mission to train Iraqi Security Forces until November 2018. More>>

ALSO:

On The 'Terrorism' Card:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news