New funding for Mayfield Hinds irrigation schemePrimary Industries
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed $345,000 in new funding to investigate expansion of the Mayfield Hinds irrigation scheme in mid-Canterbury.
The funding comes from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF) and will look at the feasibility of increasing the irrigated area of the current scheme by 4,500 hectare through piped extensions.
“Storing alpine water to use in dry times is crucial for rural communities to thrive, especially as the climate becomes more variable,” says Mr Guy.
“Well planned and managed irrigation schemes are good for rural economies and the environment.
“If this expansion is shown to be feasible then the project will appoint a design and construction contractor, complete financial models and secure finance.
“It offers opportunities for a variety of industries such as horticulture, crop farming and small seed production.
“Importantly, there will be strict environmental limits on nutrient discharge and all scheme farmers will require a Farm Environment Plan. The piped extensions will increase water use efficiency through an increased use of pivot irrigation and reducing groundwater use.”
The Mayfield Hinds irrigation scheme has delivered water from the Rangitata River since 1949 and is an important contributor to the local economy.
A recent report by New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) found that irrigation contributes $2.2 billion to the national economy and this has the potential to increase further.
More information is available at www.mpi.govt.nz