31 March 2021
IrrigationNZ has submitted the Climate Change Commission draft advice report and is supportive of the desire to reduce emissions in New Zealand, and play our part in this global issue.
“However, our view is that zero carbon targets won’t be met without investment in water storage, capture and precision use. Water infrastructure needs to be better recognised as an enabler to achieving our emissions reduction targets,” says Vanessa Winning, chief executive of IrrigationNZ
“Access to reliable water is essential for farmers and growers to diversify their land away from ruminant agriculture to a more mixed-production approach.
“We also see opportunity to augment or back up green electricity supply locally by local ‘bolt-on’ hydro electricity generation where water storage already exists as part of an irrigation scheme. The cost of water and energy, and the ability to source energy closer to use (localised) are going to be key to enabling behavioural change and reducing resistance.
“Our submission also calls for a more coordinated response across similar policy frameworks which lead to the same outcomes New Zealand climate change policy will seek. For example: freshwater regulation, biodiversity enhancement, highly productive land use change, the primary production strategy ‘Fit for a Better World’, RMA reform, three waters, infrastructure development, supporting Māori agribusiness objectives and iwi rights and interests. We are concerned about policy fatigue leading to a failure to act at all.
“Similar to this point, we continue to emphasise the need for an overarching water strategy for New Zealand, so that we identify better strategic outcomes - as well as use policy to respond to problems.
“IrrigationNZ members share many of the same goals as other New Zealanders to reduce their environmental footprints and see improvements in the health of our waterways, to contribute to the wellbeing of their communities and provide for a sustainable future for New Zealand,” concludes Ms Winning.
IrrigationNZ's submission can be found here.