Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is welcoming a funding grant of $1.37 million for Hunter Downs Water from Crown Irrigation Investments announced.
“This development grant funding will be used by Hunter Downs Water to complete the next stage of its programme as it works toward becoming construction ready,” says Mr Guy.
Hunter Downs Scheme is a farmer and community led scheme with the capacity to irrigate 21,000ha in an area located between Waimate and Timaru in South Canterbury.
“This grant is an important step forward for this project which could have major benefits for the South Canterbury region.
“The environmental and recreational benefits from this project include increased flows in surface waterways and in the Wainono Lagoon, protection of mudfish habitats and improved game bird and trout habitats.
“Irrigation schemes in other parts of the country have brought real economic and environmental gains. A reliable source of water gives certainty to farmers and growers, helps them plan ahead and deal with droughts and dry spells.”
The scheme has been granted consents with rigorous environmental protections and will support a variety of land uses including beef, arable, horticulture and dairy. Water will also be available for town supplies in Timaru and Waimate.
All decisions by Crown Irrigation Investments are made by an experienced, independent board. Strict conditions have to be met including sound governance and matched funding.