Irrigation scheme takes shape

Last updated 05:00 03/05/2014
rangitata south irrigation

MASS OF WATER: The Rangitata South Irrigation Scheme is in its final stages of construction.

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The Rangitata South Irrigation scheme is in its final stages of construction.

Chairman Ian Morten said at least three ponds were already providing water to farmers.

"It's great to see some water going through. But there's a lot of work to go," he said.

Once complete, the scheme will have seven large storage ponds.

"Weather permitting, five ponds should be fully commissioned in time for the irrigation season next October, with the remaining two ready by December. "Everyone involved wants to see it complete, but it's a slow process."

Morten said those involved in the scheme were required to build their own separate storage dams in addition to feeding off the main ponds.

Waimate businessman Gary Rooney has bankrolled the bulk of the $90 million scheme, which will irrigate up to 16,000 hectares between the Rangitata and Orari rivers.

Work started on the scheme in 2011, and it will use a water harvesting and storage strategy to divert water from the Rangitata River when flows exceed 110 cubic metres per second. 

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- The Timaru Herald


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