Waihao Downs Irrigation has got enough backing to proceed to the design stage, but there are still some matters to be sorted out.
A spokesman said expressions of interest closed last week, and there was enough uptake for the first 3000 hectares of the scheme.
However, there were still issues over access as well some "late applicants", which needed to be sorted before it progressed to the next stage of design assessment.
The scheme received nearly $200,000 in funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries' community irrigation fund.
It consists of two possible intakes from the Waitaki River with a water distribution system that pumps water up pipelines to the top of the terrace and into the Waihao Basin, located west of Waimate.
Environment Canterbury granted the scheme consents in 2010. It will provide irrigation water to 6800ha of farmland within a 14,000ha area.
- The Timaru Herald