Wednesday, 20 July 2016 07:25

Dam good decision — Editorial

Written by 
This month's decision by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council confirming its intention to invest in the Ruataniwha water storage scheme is a good one. This month's decision by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council confirming its intention to invest in the Ruataniwha water storage scheme is a good one.

This month's decision by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council (HBRC) confirming its intention to invest in the Ruataniwha water storage scheme is a good one.

HBRC's plan to invest $80 million follows the signing of water user agreements by at least 190 farmers who support the scheme.

As Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay provincial president Will Foley says: "The Ruataniwha Plains are highly vulnerable to drought and this dam will ensure a reliable water source to preserve the family farming traditions in the region."

Water storage and irrigation are the future for sustainable and prosperous agriculture in New Zealand – particularly in drought-prone regions like Hawke's Bay. And there are economic and environmental benefits for the wider community. Irrigation supported by water storage will allow growers, farmers and the whole region to ride out global market ups and downs and climatic stresses like droughts.

Despite what the doomsayers and supposed environmental lobbies claim, irrigation schemes benefit more than just irrigators; they provide economic certainty for communities and bolster their environments. Examples of this are dotted throughout the country. It simply makes good economic and community sense for local government to invest in irrigation schemes.

In its recent submission on the next steps in fresh water management, Irrigation NZ correctly pointed out this fact as follows:

'An irrigator's business is founded on certainty. This includes access to a reliable water supply for irrigation and the ability to dynamically farm their land. It is this certainty that enables investment and continuous improvement in resource use efficiency and thus good environmental performance. Without certainty they and the considerable flow-on benefits to the regional economy are severely impacted. The national economy would also be affected, given NZ has predominantly an agricultural export based economy."

IrrigationNZ chief executive Andrew Curtis says the decision sets the Hawke's Bay community up for a positive future because access to reliable water will be a game changer for the region.

The last word goes to Will Foley: "The decision is a positive step towards the region receiving true tangible benefits while maintaining the community's environmental values. It's been a long time in the making, but there's a real sense of excitement about how positive this is for the region."

More like this

Ruataniwha dam busted?

The future of the controversial Ruataniwha water storage dam in central Hawkes Bay is in limbo, following the recent local body election.

A damn load of emotional effluent

The Ruataniwha water storage scheme saga has gone far beyond soap opera territory: fantasy has long since replaced fact, the noisy quashing any sense.

Ruataniwha setback?

A controversial land swap deal which would have advanced the Ruataniwha dam scheme may now not go ahead.

September start for Ruataniwha?

Work could start as soon as September on the Ruataniwha water storage scheme if consents and land requirements fall into the place.

National

MPI lost touch

MPI boss Ray Smith says with the advent of the climate change proposals and the new essential fresh water regulations,…

Farmer fined for bovis breach

Failure to follow directives not to move stock because of the Mycoplasma bovis threat and breaking NAIT rules has landed…

$8 on the cards?

An $8-plus milk price for Fonterra farmers this season could be on the cards.

Machinery & Products

Real handy in all situations

Listening to customers across all sectors of agriculture helps the Handypiece team design and engineer options to make its unit…

Film binding now available

The Kuhn VBP 3100 series variable chamber baler-wrapper combination can now be equipped with the patented Kuhn Twin-reel film binding…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Bad look

OPINION: Your canine crusader reckons something smells really iffy about the move by Beef+Lamb NZ directors to sack the independent…

Out of touch

OPINION: This old mutt has always thought the people who inhabit the nation’s parliament are a weird bunch with very…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter