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River Restrictions Highlight Need for Water Storage

Richard Prosser MP
Spokesperson for Primary Industries

River Restrictions Highlight Need for Water Storage

New Zealand First says partial restrictions on rivers supplying irrigation schemes in Canterbury this early in the growing season highlights the need for more dams and reservoirs.

Primary Industries Spokesperson Richard Prosser says storing excess seasonal flows in reservoirs, and using that water to boost and regulate the flow of rivers through dry spells is sensible resource management.

“Farmers benefit, agriculture benefits, river users benefit and rivers and fish benefit. Everyone wins through water storage.

“We don’t have a shortage of water in this country, we have a lack of ability to save our surplus flows.

“Conditions are beginning to look tight for moisture on farms, but the reality is that another metre and a half on Lake Coleridge would be enough to keep every river and irrigation take in Canterbury flowing at healthy volumes through the worst of dry seasons.

“There’s potential to utilise Lake Sumner more as well, and any number of places where dams and reservoirs could be constructed to hold more of the vital resource that is water.

“New Zealand First urges the government to maintain assistance for the development of sustainable irrigation schemes.”


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