IrrigationNZ welcomes the government’s budget commitments to invest in regional infrastructure and to establish a Green Investment Fund.
“Water storage is a critical part of rural infrastructure in New Zealand’s east coast regions and irrigation has been shown to create substantial additional job growth and income for communities in numerous studies,” says Irrigation New Zealand Chief Executive Andrew Curtis. “Water storage aligns with today’s budget announcement around investing in economic development and supporting the regions.”
“With the challenge of increasingly frequent and severe droughts on the horizon due to Climate Change the importance of irrigation to regional communities and economies will only grow in the future,” he adds.
Mr Curtis says IrrigationNZ supports the government’s focus on developing clean technology and promoting high value production. “There is huge potential for investment in new irrigation technology and precision irrigation education to improve environmental outcomes.”
A recent study carried out by Professor Richard McDowell on an Otago farm showing that the introduction of precision irrigation technology was able to reduce nitrogen leaching by 80% is one example of how new technology can be applied to improve environmental management.
“Irrigation is essential for high value, low emission agriculture like horticulture and viticulture,” Mr Curtis adds