Friday, 28 June 2019 08:20

Water projects to support growth

Written by 

Irrigation NZ says the recent announcement of $30.6 million in Provincial Growth Funding for water projects in Hawke’s Bay will be critical to support the region’s continued prosperity and wellbeing.

“Water drives the Hawke’s Bay economy and it is critical to people’s wellbeing and the region’s prosperity,” says Elizabeth Soal, IrrigationNZ chief executive.

“Both Hawke’s Bay’s agricultural production and its tourism sectors are reliant on having secure access to water to enable horticulture and viticulture to flourish.”

The region currently faces a number of challenges around water security and a changing climate will result in more frequent droughts and more variable rainfall will affect both urban and rural communities. “This means that we will need to rethink how we manage water and draw on new tools in the future,” says Soal.

“It is very exciting that this funding will support research into managed aquifer recharge in Central Hawke’s Bay. Managed aquifer recharge is widely used overseas and has been very successful in replenishing aquifer levels. Alongside this there is funding for an aerial electromagnetic survey of Hawke’s Bay aquifers to improve our understanding of groundwater depth and capacity.”

$12.9 million has also been allocated through the Provincial Growth Fund to investigate options for small-scale water storage to supplement water flows in and across the Heretaunga Plains.

“Hawkes’s Bay is one of our most productive regions and is our largest apple producing region, as well as our second biggest wine and vegetable growing region. We know only a small percentage of land is suitable for horticulture in New Zealand and there are significant areas which are under pressure from urban expansion. It’s critical that we ensure that good horticultural land can be fully productive by ensuring that there is a secure future water supply,” says Soal.

Soal says studies of irrigation development in other regions in New Zealand have shown that it results in higher household incomes, higher regional GDP, a boost in employment figures and that it also
has positive social benefits like increased rural school rolls and higher levels of home ownership.

 

More like this

Going underground

The arguments advocating against sub surface irrigation are often over played, with the benefits ignored.

Water ownership debate gets new push

A Waitangi Tribunal report and recommendations on water ownership have put Māori rights and interests in freshwater firmly back in the public spotlight, just as the Government releases a raft of policy changes.

» The RNG Weather Report

Featured

New hort science scholarships 

A scholarship for up to five students each year, studying Massey University’s Bachelor of Horticultural Science degree has been launched by kiwifruit exporter Zezpri.

 

Taking farmers together on climate change

How we take the farming community with us and what trajectory we are on for climate change response is all open for discussion, says Dr Rod Carr, the new chair-designate of the Climate Change Commission.

High alert for stink bugs

Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way.

 

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

If it clucks is it vegan?

Is food vegan simply because it doesn’t come from a cow? This question has puzzled one in five Britons.

Swinging out the lifeboats?

The Fonterra shareholders council announced last week that elections will take place in 10 of its 25 wards.

» Connect with Dairy News