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Freshwater Management Project Welcomed

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Wayne Mapp
Wayne Mapp

Research, Science and Technology Minister Wayne Mapp has welcomed NIWA's new freshwater management project for Canterbury.

NIWA (the National Institute of Atmospheric & Water Research) announced today that it was combining projects in the climate, freshwater and hazards areas into a single clearly-identified piece of research. The new project will create information and tools that will improve the management of Canterbury's water resources.

The new project is funded by Crown Research Institute Capability Funding. The fund received an extra $40 million over four years to reinforce the ability of CRIs to maintain and develop nationally significant research.

The project aims to better define the links between weather and climate and the available water resources on the Canterbury Plains area. That will significantly improve water management for the region in the future. NIWA will invest more than $2 million over the next three years in the project.

Dr Mapp said water resource management is a key issue for central government and is one of the most significant issues for regional councils.

He said Canterbury was an obvious area for the project because water demand was high, and often exceeded current availability.

"Seventy per cent of all irrigated land in New Zealand is in the Canterbury Plains. An extra 400,000 irrigated hectares could add more than $1 billion to the national economy. Anything we can do to make that water use more efficient and productive will see huge boosts for the whole economy," he said.

"While this proposal is clearly centred on the catchments linked with the Canterbury Plains, I expect that this information will be used elsewhere."

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