29 Nov 2012

Further irrigation investigated along lower Waikati River

12:53 pm on 29 November 2012

The Government is helping to fund another irrigation investigation along the lower Waikati River in North Otago.

Options are being assessed for improving irrigation along the south bank of the river, between the Waitaki dam and Black Point, about 40km inland from the coast.

An irrigation acceleration fund is contributing half of the $272,000 cost of the project.

Elizabeth Soal of Waitaki Irrigators Collective, which is manging the project, says there are already two schemes as well as individual irrigators operating in the 9000 hectare area under investigation.

But she says there's potential for expanding and improving water use.

Four other irrigation projects in North and Central Otago and Hawke's Bay have also received acceleration fund grants this year.

Irrigation New Zealand says negotiations are underway for a further four projects.

The irrigation acceleration fund will invest $35 million over five years in irrigation development.