Irrigation scheme at ‘really exciting stage’

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QWhat stage is the Hunter Downs Water scheme at?
Hunter Downs Water (HDW) is at a really exciting stage as we have come from the concept/ investigation to scheme development. In February 2016, Rooney Group presented to HDW a new concept scheme alignment. The design is made up of the following innovative elements:
a Gravity-fed main-race system (coastal alignment)
a Large storage ponds to augment irrigation needs
a Optimisation of power requirements to reduce costs
a Wainono Lagoon augmentation flow
We are working hard to have the final scheme costs and designs presented by September and we are about to begin a series of workshops and presentations to educate and inform potential irrigators on the benefits of being part of the scheme.
QWhat will this mean for farmers (and possibly the wider community)?
HDW will provide a reliable water supply for the farms and communities in South Canterbury. The scheme will help maximise agricultural production and economic development in the region.
QHow did you get involved?
As a farmer I have an inherent interest in irrigation and I, along with others, was shoulder-tapped to join the HDIL [Hunter Downs Irrigation Ltd] board in 2011. We’d already shown a bit of interest in the scheme and they wanted to see if we were interested in driving the scheme further.
QWhat is your background?
I am asecond-generation farmer, living inland from Makikihi on the foothills of the Hunters Hills. We milk 1600 cows through two sheds on a dryland farming system, with a leased support block. We also own an irrigated property milking a further 700 cows. We also farm deer focused on velvet and antler production for a trophy hunting business.
QWhen you aren’t busy keeping the project flowing — so to speak — what doyou enjoy doing?
The reality is that my focus is going to be on getting HDW up and running over the next few months. However, when not tied up with that, I enjoy my day-to-day farmrelated work and spending time with myfamily and friends.