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Crown Irrigation Invests $815,000 in Manuherikia Water

Crown Irrigation Invests $815,000 in the Manuherikia Water Project

2 August 2017 - Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd. (Crown Irrigation) has agreed to provide development grant funding of $815,000 for remaining Manuherikia Water Project pre-feasibility phase investigations.

The funding will enable the independent irrigation companies in the Manuherikia valley to amalgamate under a single legal entity, Manuherikia WaterCo, and further a range of technical, environmental and financial studies to select the base case project size.

The purpose of the project is to upgrade and increase the capacity of existing storage and distribution infrastructure to expand the hectares under irrigation; enhance existing irrigation reliability; and meet environmental regulatory objectives.

Within this pre-feasibility phase Manuherikia WaterCo will seek to raise further development capital from farmers to push towards a final construction investment decision.

The work programme phase will also include Manuherikia WaterCo seeking to replace the existing mining permits for water extraction (that are due to expire in 2021), with resource consents under the Resource Management Act.

It is expected the capacity of Falls Dam, the main water storage component of the project, will at least double in size, providing considerable scope to increase the hectares of farmland and orchards under reliable irrigation.

Murray Gribben, Chief Executive of Crown Irrigation said: “The Catchment is somewhat unique in the context of New Zealand irrigation. There are currently six main schemes in the area including: Manuherikia; Omakau, including the Falls Dam; Hawkdun/Idaburn; Ida Valley; Galloway; and Blackstone. Collectively these schemes and a number of private water right holders are all underpinned by historical mining rights that provide water allocations that have been in existence for over 100 years. Crown funding for the remainder of the pre-feasibility phase will be used to ascertain the extent of the additional capacity required to future-proof the environmental and economic benefits of water storage in Central Otago”.

“Irrigation schemes have added significant economic and environmental benefits to local regions and the New Zealand economy in other parts of the country and this scheme will be no exception.

“Crown Irrigation is looking forward to working alongside Manuherikia WaterCo to help deliver significant resilience to the local economy,” Mr Gribben said.

Crown Irrigation provides both development funding and construction capital to irrigation schemes across New Zealand. The development funding helps support (through matched funding) the development of irrigation infrastructure proposals to the stage where they are ready for construction, which means they must be commercially robust and demonstrate a high level of community support.


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