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Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation scheme gets piping mandate

Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation scheme gets piping mandate

A decision to pipe the Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation scheme will result in significant energy savings and improved water use efficiency.

The 234 shareholders in the Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation Limited (ALIL) have voted 82% in favour of piping over 200km of the scheme’s open water races.

ALIL’s chairman, John van Polanen, says the energy saved by piping the scheme is equivalent to the energy used by 2000 homes.

Water savings will allow an extra 4000ha to be irrigated and better water-use efficiency will enhance nutrient management. This will assist farmers to comply with pending environmental regulations.

“Farmers are very conscious of the value of water and conscious that it has to be used wisely.

“We have a good design that has been refined and optimised to ensure the best outcome for the scheme and shareholders,” says van Polanen.

The whole scheme will be monitored and controlled remotely using telemetry so that scheme management will know exactly where water is in the scheme at any one time.

Data will be automatically transferred back to a database which will be accessible to farmers and provide accurate information on water use and availability.

The monitoring system can be linked with moisture meters which will provide individual farmers with much more information on which to base their irrigation decisions.

van Polanen says consultations with individual shareholders will begin shortly and work to pipe the scheme will begin next winter. The upgrade is expected to cost $90-$95million.

ENDS

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