Rural News - Council jeopardises new water project

Minimum flow limits proposed by the Otago Regional Council for the Manuherikia River in Central Otago could undermine the Manuherikia Water Project, says former regional councillor and local farmer Gary Kelliher.

Several small irrigation schemes based on the river and the 1930s-vintage Falls Dam near St Bathans are amalgamating in a project that envisages raising or replacing the dam, and upgrading other infrastructure, to improve storage and security of supply.

On the back of a Crown Irrigation Investments development grant of $815,000 announced on August 2, a new umbrella company, Manuherikia WaterCo, is being formed and directors will soon be appointed.

But Kelliher said the big risk to the project is the minimum flow numbers proposed by the ORC.

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