Ir­ri­ga­tion plans alarm

Sub­mit­ters op­pose open­ing up re­gion to in­ten­sive dairy­ing

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By CHE BAKER

Con­cerns have been raised that Cen­tral Otago will be over­rid­den by dairy farms if two pro­posed large-scale ir­ri­ga­tion schemes get the go-ahead. Last week the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil passed a pro­posed amend­ment to its long-term plan, against its own rec­om­men­da­tion, that would al­low it to in­vest in a $39 mil­lion Tar­ras ir­ri­ga­tion scheme. Tar­ras Water asked the coun­cil to buy $3.5 mil­lion of re­deemable pref­er­ence shares and pay up to $500,000 an­nu­ally for five years, to­ward the fixed costs. The scheme would sup­ply 40 house­holds in Tar­ras with water pumped from the Clutha River, irrigating 6000 hectares. An­other scheme, the Manuherikia Catch­ment Com­mu­nity Propo­si­tion, is in the submission process for pub­lic in­put on dif­fer­ent op­tions to ex­pand ir­ri­ga­tion in the area. Back­ers pro­pose de­vel­op­ing a con­sen­sus on ru­ral water use in the Manuherikia and Ida Val­leys. The Manuherikia Catch­ment is made up of two prin­ci­pal val­leys and di­vid­ing hills to­talling about 3000 sq km of which about 60,000ha are con­sid­ered suit­able for ir­ri­ga­tion. Of this area

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