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Irrigation Details Announced

MEDIA RELEASE
2 JULY 1999

IRRIGATION DETAILS ANNOUNCED

Further details of the contestable water studies fund for drought prone areas were today announced by Food and Fibre Minister John Luxton.

The $2 million fund will be a joint partnership between the Government and the Agriculture and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT), which will administer applications to the contestable fund. In addition to funding from the Government and AGMARDT, local government or industry will be required to contribute a third of the total cost of each project.

"The partnership approach is about solving long-term problems together. It's an exciting opportunity which allows communities to explore irrigation options without bearing the total cost themselves. The funding will be available to any drought prone area in New Zealand and allows good ideas to be explored further."

Objectives The specific objectives of the fund are to address barriers to water resource developments and involve communities in:

i) investigations to improve knowledge and provide information on water resources, ii) development of strategies for water supply projects that improve the allocation and reallocation of water resources, and iii) feasibility studies into water resources that lead to better use and allocation.

Grants Grants will be available where they are supported by a minimum one-third local contribution from any appropriate community or industry source, for the following purposes:

i) research to improve knowledge on water resources, water use and efficiencies and plant operator knowledge;

ii) regional strategies for stock and irrigation water supply projects and for water resource investigations in collaboration with regional and district councils and other stakeholders;

iii) feasibility studies by community interest groups into water supply schemes for meeting stock and irrigation water needs in drought affected areas in sufficient detail to give a choice of options and to establish the form of a legal entity to proceed with development;

iv) information transfer for the preparation and dissemination of local generic knowledge so landowners are well informed on water resources and water availability, and on the technical, financial and community processes that are necessary for investment decisions in irrigation and stock supply projects, distribution and application systems.

Applicants to the fund should be made to AGMARDT, PO Box 399 Shortlland St, AUCKLAND. Terms of reference, guidelines and application forms are also available shortly from AGMARDT.

Applications are in two steps - "A Water Studies Inquiry" and if the application then falls within the guidelines the applicant will be invited to complete a "Water Studies Grant Request".

The Government also notes that there are significant long term water allocation and institutional concerns that should be addressed if water resources are to be managed well in an increasingly competitive environment. These are important for sustainable water management and will require longer term approaches.

ENDS

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