Can­ter­bury com­pa­nies make in­no­va­tion fi­nals


Three di­verse Can­ter­bury com­pa­nies are fi­nal­ists in Ir­ri­ga­tionNZ’s In­no­va­tion Awards.

A wa­ter race safety video for chil­dren, a GIS data­base sys­tem help­ing farm­ers to meet en­vi­ron­men­tal re­quire­ments and a new screen al­low­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion of effluent via cen­tre pivot ir­ri­ga­tors sur­faced ahead of other in­no­va­tions.

Be Wa­ter-Race Safe was a video for school-age chil­dren de­vel­oped by the Waitaki Ir­ri­ga­tors Col­lec­tive.

‘‘Ir­ri­ga­tion races can seem invit­ing to chil­dren to swim in, and we want to ed­u­cate them on the po­ten­tial dan­gers while they are at pri­mary school and be­fore they reach an age when they might be more in­clined to carry out risky be­hav­iour,’’ said the col­lec­tive’s pol­icy man­ager El­iz­a­beth Soal. Open wa­ter races are still stan­dard in parts of Waitaki and Wai­mate.

So far 2000 school chil­dren across North Otago and South Can­ter­bury had watched the video, Soal said. The col­lec­tive brought in a wa­ter safety ex­pert to talk to 400 school chil­dren about what to do if they found them­selves in trou­ble in wa­ter.

Aqual­inc gained a spot in the fi­nal for its GeoRu­ral GIS data­base sys­tem. The ini­tia­tive was widely used by farm­ers and ir­ri­ga­tion schemes for de­vel­op­ing and man­ag­ing farm en­vi­ron­ment plans.

It was cloud-based, used GIS func­tions and in­cluded el­e­va­tion sur­vey data, cli­mate, hy­drol­ogy, soil and con­sent data and ae­rial pho­tos.

‘‘The sys­tem has a lot of data which makes the process of de­vel­op­ing a farm en­vi­ron­ment plan much eas­ier for farm­ers. GIS is a great way to vi­su­alise and share data.

The sys­tem means that in­for­ma­tion is re­tained in one lo­ca­tion which will be avail­able long-term to farm­ers,’’ said Aqualink re­search and de­vel­op­ment man­ager John Bright.

So far most farm en­vi­ron­ment plans de­vel­oped in Can­ter­bury had used the GeoRu­ral sys­tem. It was also be­ing used to help man­age nu­tri­ent loads in the Hu­runui catch­ment, said Bright.

Rainer Ir­ri­ga­tion’s Vi­bra screen was the third fi­nal­ist. The screen al­lowed the sep­a­ra­tion of effluent into solids and liq­uid, with the liq­uid re­cy­cled by cen­tre pivot ir­ri­ga­tors to fer­tilise pas­ture.

The effluent was of­ten used as a re­place­ment for fer­tiliser but was usu­ally ap­plied through small trav­el­ling ir­ri­ga­tors. Ap­ply­ing effluent through cen­tre pivot ir­ri­ga­tors al­lowed a larger area to be cov­ered more con­sis­tently.

The win­ner of the award will be an­nounced at the com­pany’s an­nual con­fer­ence in Alexan­dra in April.

Chil­dren from Pem­broke School watch the Be WaterRace Safe video.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.