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Global consent trial means smart, shared water use

Media Release

11 March 2014

Global consent trial means smart, shared water use

The Twyford Irrigator Group are working closely with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on a global consent trial. It sees irrigators sharing their individual water consent allocations and expertise to manage use, with particular value during low flow periods.

Members of the Twyford Irrigator Group (TIG) including landowner Jerf van Beek have signed Hawke’s Bay’s first trial Global Consent. Jerf talks about the contentious situation that led to an Environment Court hearing pitting landowners against Hawke’s Bay Regional Council in 2010.

“After undertaking an expensive and litigious process, we came to the view that working collaboratively with council was a better use of our time and money,” says Mr van Beek.

“Our change of tack also timed in with some changes at council, a better understanding of the water consenting process and the better relationships that have emerged.”

The value of the trial is essentially better data, delivering the proof from a consent holder’s perspective that water users can stay within allocation limits. A global consent in Twyford means that the volume of water takes across the consent holders in the catchment is measured as a total.

“Working collaboratively there is plenty of water to maintain and even increase production in Twyford. In fact , the trial may pave the way to unlock water for land previously unable to be irrigated here,” says Mr van Beek.

He cites the relationship with HBRC as now being more proactive and with a stronger solutions focus.

Users of water in the global consented zone take on the responsibility of using water within levels set by HBRC. This is a good example of the positive collaborative approach between HBRC and consent holders to find solutions.

Some members of HBRC’s TANK Group, which includes irrigators in the TIG group, have been strong advocates of the global consent trial. TANK is the project coordinated by HBRC to work through changes to water limits and allocations in the Tūtaekuri, Ahuriri estuary, Ngaruroro and Karamū catchments.

ENDS


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