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Stage 2 of MAR trial approved

Funding and resource consent has been approved for Council to proceed with stage two of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) at the Makauri aquifer.

Proposed to run over two years, stage two of the trial will fully investigate potential risks and inject up to 360,000m3 from the Waipaoa River into the aquifer.

The Provincial Growth Fund has granted $542,000 towards it and the Eastland Community Trust will contribute a further $448,500. Combined with Council funding in the Long Term Plan, stage two of the trial is now fully-funded.

As part of the resource consent and ECT funding conditions, Council will engage with Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust around the development of a cultural impact assessment. A Mauri Compass assessment of the trial will be undertaken as part of the cultural framework agreed with Te Aitanga a Mahaki.

A community liaison group comprising of iwi, irrigator users and council representatives was set up during stage one of the trial and we will continue to work with them throughout stage two.

The injection trial will start in Autumn 2019 when river flows are greater than 4000 l/s (litres per second). The project team will continue to progress science studies and preliminary site work in the coming months to support the trial and understand potential impacts.

Another Council monitoring bore will be installed to ensure good monitoring coverage of water quality and groundwater level impacts of the trial.

The information gained during the trial will be available to any party seeking to develop a MAR scheme.


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