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Waitohi Irrigation and Hydro Scheme resource consent




Waitohi Irrigation and Hydro Scheme resource consent notified

After nearly two years in the making, a resource consent application for the Waitohi Irrigation and Hydro Scheme was notified today by Environment Canterbury.

The Waitohi Irrigation and Hydro Scheme has been developed by the Hurunui Water Project as an alternative water storage scheme to an earlier proposal involving the South Branch of the Hurunui River and Lake Sumner.
Research suggests storing water in the Waitohi catchment will have less impact on environmental, cultural and recreational values than other sites considered in Hurunui District. Investigations into the Waitohi River were encouraged by the Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.
Hurunui Water Project’s proposal suggests four dams along the length of the upper Waitohi River, as well as two intakes on the Hurunui River, one below Surveyors Stream and the other below the Mandamus River. The scheme will have the potential to irrigate close to 60,000 hectares in the Hurunui, Waipara and Kowai catchments and will also generate electricity using a combination of run-of-river water and stored water.

In January of this year, Hurunui Water Project’s Waitohi proposal was chosen as the preferred scheme for the Waitohi River by an independent group; the Waitohi Irrigation Selection Scheme Panel. The panel was set up by the Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee, Hurunui District Council and Environment Canterbury to find the best water management solution for the zone.

Hurunui Water Project lodged resource consent application for the Waitohi Irrigation and Hydro Scheme last October. Notification means the application will now be considered and public submissions called for over a two-month period ending 5 November 2012.

Those interested in the details of the scheme can access the resource consent application on Environment Canterbury’s website: www.ecan.govt.nz/get-involved/consent-projects/Pages/waitohi.aspx

More background on the Waitohi Irrigation and Hydro Scheme is contained on Hurunui Water Project’s website: www.hurunuiwater.co.nz/wihs-resource-consent.php

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