INZ, with support from Aqualinc Research Ltd, has conducted a survey of the cost of irrigation scheme water supply across NZ. From this data set, a standardised cost comparison for the delivery of water to the farm gate has been produced. As a further comparison the cost of installing and operating a groundwater supply has also been included.
INZ conducted interviews with representatives from each irrigation scheme. From this information the annualised cost for each scheme, standardised as $/ha/year and $/m, was produced. In 2012-13, Canterbury irrigation schemes were surveyed. In the 2014 update, the dataset was expanded to 20 schemes to include Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough and Northland. INZ will continue to expand this dataset and update the report on a biennial basis to keep the information comprehensive and current.
The report contains standardised costs for the delivery of water to the farm gate. It does not include any costs incurred inside the farm boundary. An adjustment is made to the cost where it is delivered under pressure (piped) to reflect and balance the costs against the schemes that deliver at zero pressure (i.e. open channel). Adjustment is also made to match all scheme costs to a supply reliability of 95% and take account of on-farm storage requirements that are a prerequisite to scheme water supply.
Note: A survey of land prices is not conducted as part of this analysis but may warrant further work in the future, as some cost may be capitalised into the underlying land value.