Manuherikia Catchment Water Strategy Group Project

The Manuherikia Catchment Water Strategy Group (MCWSG) is working to modernise and upgrade water management in the Manuherikia and Ida valleys. Water users in the Manuherikia catchment are facing several challenges. These challenges include:

• Existing infrastructure is limiting the amount of land that can be fully irrigated.
• Most of the catchment's deemed permits (historical water permits) will expire in 2021 and need to be replaced with new RMA consents.
• New RMA consents will require a higher level of efficiency in conveyance and use and need to address minimum flow issues.
• The National Policy Statement for Fresh Water Management (NPS) and the Otago Regional Council Regional Plan: Water (Plan Change 6a) policy requirements for higher standards need to be adhered to for freshwater management which will require changes to on-farm irrigation practices.

Studies commissioned by the MCWSG have found that the Manuherikia Valley is not water short but that water is available at the wrong time. More storage and efficiency could improve reliability and potentially increase the fully irrigated area from 6,500 ha to around 21,000 ha. More storage could also make more water available for environmental objectives. A number of options for achieving this have been identified. For more information on the MCWSG project visit www.mcwater.co.nz.
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