The Wairarapa water use project group working on a large-scale irrigation project says it has narrowed the number of potential water storage sites in the region down to 30.
Large-scale irrigation is music to the ears of farmers and others who realise the environmental. economic and social costs of droughts.
It is also a red rag to the green bulls who think water should flow from its source to the sea untouched by human hand or enterprise.
However, the people who oppose irrigation, like many who oppose mining, often the same people who keep asking the government where are the jobs?
In North Otago we are benefitting from the jobs which have come with irrigation.
Two of our neighbours are in the process of completing dairy sheds and two houses. We built a new dairy shed and house last year and are about to start building another house.
That’s jobs for everyone involved in the building and for the people who will be living in the houses.
These are just on our farm and two neighbouring properties, other farms in the district have or are building too. There are also more jobs in supplying and servicing farms and the people who work on them.
None of that work would have been available if it had not been for irrigation.
The economic and social gains are obvious and thanks to strict conditions on water takes by the irrigation company which strictly monitors the impact on soil and water, they haven’t come at the cost of environmental degradation.