Hurunui Water Project Continues Despite ‘Kick in the Teeth’
Friday, 6 April, 2018
Hurunui Water Project Continues Despite Government Funding ‘Kick in the Teeth’
The Board and farmer-shareholders behind an on-plains storage based regional irrigation scheme are determined it will go ahead, despite the Government announcing that it will not provide further funding.
“Water is fundamental for our community – it’s the lifeblood of our region. As recent extended droughts have painfully shown, our livelihoods are tied to climate and the reliability of water supply,” said Hurunui Water Project (HWP) Chief Executive Chris Pile.
Chris Pile said that without a reliable and consistent supply of water, the farming future, as well as the prosperity of our region, including the townships of Amberley, Waipara, Waikari, Hawarden and Culverden is uncertain.
“This scheme is about drought-proofing and long-term resilience, not wide-scale dairy development as some commentators suggest.
“Yesterday’s Government decision is yet another hurdle in a long line of hurdles the project has had to deal with, but our scheme must continue for the good of our community” Pile said.
“Equally important is the environment. HWP’s scheme design means we don’t need to dam rivers, flood valleys or build more intakes on rivers.
“This project will use on-plains storage, will not take low-flow river water and will ensure farmers manage their water supply efficiently and sustainably through the latest monitoring technology.
“By collaborating with Ngāi Tahu and the Amuri Irrigation Scheme nearby, we are locating our on-plains storage pond on farmland, instead of building dams and flooding native bush and ecosystems - meaning less impact on the natural environment.
“This scheme is at the forefront of sustainable irrigation. Modern monitoring technology will reduce water over-allocation and help ensure good environmental performance right across the scheme, while helping farms increase and diversify yields, reduce fertiliser and energy usage, and reduce nutrient leaching into the soil and waterways.”