Irrigation funding a win for region
Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said more funding for irrigation projects around the region could be possible thanks to new irrigation investment in Budget 2017.
“Budget 2017 will see additional grant funding of $26.7 million over the next three years for irrigation investments, along with a capital boost of $63 million across the country.
“This funding is so positive because it has the potential to delivery economic and environmental benefits for communities through better use of water.
“Farmers and growers in this region need reliable water supplies to develop their businesses, create jobs and achieve export growth and it’s positive to see that this funding could be available to them.
"Water storage is the lifeblood for those working the land, from farmers, to orchardists and wine growers, with drier conditions becoming more of an issue.
“The funding in this budget will help develop new private sector schemes which will reduce the impacts of droughts on rural communities.
"The Hunter Downs Irrigation Scheme, which proposes to bring water from the Waitaki River to irrigate up to 21,000 ha of land from Waimate to Timaru, received $1.37 million in Government funding in March.
“Thanks to this budget announcement – more funding could be available for this scheme, because it is seen as a potential project likely to need investment in the future.
"I am hopeful other potential irrigation schemes across the electorate may also gain support over time.”