MCWSG Newsletter August 2012

Newsletter posted on 01/08/2012
Welcome to the MCWSG August newsletter. We are pleased to report that the Group consultants, Aqualinc, who are contracted to provide the background information for the catchment, are making good progress with the Pre-Feasibility Study.

Aqualinc has delivered four of the draft sub-reports and is well on track to deliver the final Report in November.

Completed draft information to date:

The Social Report

Outlining the sort of social changes that could be expected to occur in the district if irrigation use is expanded.

The Status Quo Report

Which discusses the regulatory changes expected to happen regardless of the outcome of any of these studies. The Group has asked for the cost implications of these changes to be quantified.

Manorburn Hydrology Report

There are no significant changes in the report from earlier conclusions.

Manuherikia Hydrology Report

Which indicates that if Falls Dam was     raised by 6 metres there would be      enough water to irrigate another 3,500ha or would allow very good reliability of water to the existing irrigated area.

If the Falls Dam was raised 27 metres it would give enough water and very good reliability to an extra 15,000ha.

As part of this possibility the siting of a ‘high race’ in the Omakau area is being further explored. See the map and upcoming events overleaf.

Peter Brown of Aqualinc recently spent a week in the catchment  inspecting existing infrastructure to assess the cost of upgrading or incorporating this infrastructure into any future options.

The ball park costs of the various options will be contained in the final Report in November.

The Group feels that regardless of which option is chosen at the end of the Pre Feasibility Stage, we need to include the whole community with us during the process.

Therefore, as well as currently having all interested organisations represented on the Group, we are developing a ‘Community Proposition.’

This Proposition is likely to take the form of a 12 page document outlining the background, the benefits, the key considerations and the fundamental principles of the project. A public presentation and workshop will be held during early October (date to be advised) to help develop the Community Proposition, to identify the issues and to encourage feedback and community involvement.

The MCWSG is also giving some thought as to how the irrigator’s share of the cost of a feasibility study (the next stage) could be handled along with possible governance structures to guide its delivery.

The Comms Group, which is a small sub committee of MCWSG, is working on developing five Case Studies of local farms.

The purpose of these is to show the financial impact of irrigation development on various farming operations and to highlight potential opportunities.

The completed Case Studies will be presented to current and potential irrigators during October in an effort to help assess the impact of increased irrigation on their own farming operations.

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