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The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) has released the details of the 2011 funding round for the Community Irrigation Fund, a total of $916,625 (excl GST) was allocated to eight projects. Applicants can receive grants covering up to 50 percent of the cost of their projects.
Funding was approved for:
Funding decisions have been deferred on three Canterbury applications pending the development through the Ashburton Zonal Management Committee of the community's preferred approach to developing and managing the water resources of the plains between the Rangitata and Rakaia Rivers.
The Community Irrigation Fund was established in 2007 with a contestable fund of $5.7 million (excl. GST) spread over an eight year period (2008/09 to 2015/16). It is part of Government's wider sustainability and climate change initiatives. The grant funds up to half of the cash costs of appropriate activities. This Fund will be incorporated into the new Irrigation Acceleration Fund
Offered a grant of $10,000 towards an irrigator affordability study.
Based in the Manuherikia Catchment in Central Otago, the HIIC proposes to enhance its existing scheme by upgrading the Mt Ida Water Race and building a 34 metre high, 15Mm3 storage dam. Water will be harvested during winter and spring via the water race and stored in the dam. Development of the scheme would increase the reliability of water supply to current irrigators and could irrigate a further 2,200 hectares.
The dam will provide a fisheries habitat and the associated benefits of fishing and other recreational activities (e.g. boating and swimming). The dam's close proximity to the Otago Rail Trail has the potential to provide enhanced visitor activity to the district.
Offered a grant of $23,750 towards generating investor and community support for the development of scheme storage.
The Waimakariri Irrigation Scheme is situated in the Waimakariri District and irrigates 18,000 hectares and manages the district's stock water system. They propose to build a storage dam adjacent to the existing distribution structures that would hold up to 7 Mm3 of water. The storage will improve the reliability of supply to shareholders which should lead to more efficient water use.
Offered a grant of $98,500 to contribute to the cost of carrying out, a more detailed preliminary design for the Waihao Downs Irrigation Scheme. The project includes geotechnical investigations, a preliminary design report and cost estimates.
The Waihao Downs Irrigation Scheme is a proposed new scheme west of Waimate that has resource consent to take 3.06 cumecs of water from the Lower Waitaki River. The scheme will pump water up a terrace and into the Waihao Basin where it will be distributed by pressurised pipes. The proposed area to be irrigated is 6,800 hectares over 43 properties.
Offered a grant of $278,000 to contribute to the cost of a partial design service and project management costs of the Tarras Community Water Scheme. The partial design service covers a Project Engineer to develop a specimen design and run a tender process to select a Design Build Operate (DBO) contractor and then work with the preferred tenderer to develop a Guaranteed Maximum Price acceptable to the DBO and scheme developers.
The proposed Tarras Community Water Scheme is a new scheme that will pump 4.5 cumecs from the Clutha River and deliver it to approximately 7,500 hectares by underground pressurised pipe. Because of the high reliability of the Clutha River no storage is required. It will also deliver water for domestic (not potable), stock, light industrial and fire fighting purposes in the Tarras District.
Offered a grant of $203,875 towards the cost of the detail design for upgrading an open channel system to a piped network. This will result in better utilisation of the schemes current water allocation through reduction in leakage and an improvement in distribution efficiency.
The Valetta Irrigation Scheme is located in the Ashburton District and is supplied by water from the Rangitata Diversion Race. It currently irrigates 7,300 hectares and with the efficiency gains under a piped scheme this could be increased by 1,500 hectares. Piping the scheme will reduce irrigators energy costs with the water delivered under pressure. Water availability will move from the rostered delivery currently practised to being on demand at a constant flow rate and remove the need for on farm storage ponds. The upgrading of the scheme also includes the construction of two hydro-electric power stations (not funded through this project).
Other benefits generated by the scheme will be: a reduction in water extracted from aquifers as a result of receiving water under pressure, a reduction in energy use; greater accuracy in measurement of water use, filling in the existing races will allow the land to be returned to productive farming.
Offered a grant of $160,000 for two projects contributing to the CWMS:
A grant of $120,000 was offered towards the cost of this project.
The project will develop storage supply scenarios and/or clusters into a form that can be readied for potential feasibility, investment and development. The aim is to develop these to a point where the private sector can take over. The CIF funding would contribute to an education programme on the supply side strategy and to trial the approach probably in the Hurunui-Waiau Catchment and Lees Valley.
A grant of $40,000 was offered towards the cost of this project.
The objective of the project is to develop an integrative plumbing system for Canterbury from storage to farm gate and include an efficiency concept. It would be designed in a way to make the best use of water and best use of the concepts the zonal committees are developing. It involves an in-depth strategic analysis of demand and supply efficiencies available throughout the region and the potential for integration of operations across the region to achieve the most cost effective irrigation and environmental outcomes possible.
Offered a grant of $72,500 towards a technical study of the Manuherikia Catchment, that would underpin the development of a long term management strategy for water in the catchment, consistent with the Otago Water Plan.
The Manuherikia Catchment faces several challenges: it is one of the driest catchments in New Zealand; it has six irrigation schemes with old infrastructure and irrigation methods; and the water permits are dominated by Deemed Permits that will expire in 2021. Deemed Permits date back to gold mining days and when allocated didn't consider stream volumes or environmental values and hence can legally dewater streams. Renewal of the Deemed Permits and other water takes will require water users to meet the requirements of the Otago Water Plan. The project will pull together information on the available water resource and potential demand in the Manuherikia Catchment and develop options on how to manage and distribute the water available.
Offered a grant of $70,000 towards the development of a second generation water (re)allocation framework for Marlborough.
For most of the catchments/aquifers in Marlborough in terms of the limits set in the resource management plans, full allocation has been reached or almost reached. This state of near full allocation with no further access to water will be a barrier to future growth in Marlborough. Water metering has shown that a significant amount of the water allocated is unused, indicating that the current allocation framework is inefficient.
This project looks to adopt a framework developed by the NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development that would provide for the transfer of water through water access entitlements which are distinct from water permits to take and use water. The water access entitlements could be traded amongst water users providing access to water that is locked up in existing water permits.
For further information, visit: MAF Community Irrigation Fund page
See the Minister of Agriculture's recent announcement of a new Irrigation Acceleration Fund