Farmers sign up for Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme
17 October 2013
Farmers continue to sign up for Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme
Central Hawke’s Bay farmers are continuing to show strong interest in the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme with close to a hundred so far signing expressions of interest to take water from the scheme.
The scheme has the potential to provide secure irrigation over 25,000-30,000 hectares of land for farming, while improving the water quality and summer flows in the Tukituki River. Once operational the scheme is expected to create around 2,250 new jobs throughout the region.
The Scheme’s Commercial Manager Duncan MacLeod says he has received 97 expressions of interest for 38.9 million cubic metres of water, covering 12,000 hectares.
“There is genuine interest in the scheme from a mix of current and potential irrigators who are keen to get access to secure water for their farming operations,” says Mr MacLeod.
He says farmers are awaiting a more accurate water price and some detail on the scheme’s design, including pressure and delivery points, which is due later this year once a decision has been made on who will design and build the water storage scheme. Bids from two construction consortia are currently being assessed by an expert panel.
Duncan MacLeod says to date the interest in irrigation water is coming from a variety of land users including dairying, arable, and sheep and beef production.
“The largest proportion of future land use is currently a mix of arable and red meat production.”
Meanwhile, hearings will be held in Hawke’s Bay next month by the Environmental Protection Authority’s Board of Inquiry considering resource consents for the water storage scheme, alongside HBRC’s Tukituki Plan Change.