Water is a precious resource that we all need to use wisely. Hawke’s Bay has great soils and growing conditions for producing food. With water, Hawke’s Bay is a very productive region. But, we do have a responsibility to make sure that the water needed to produce our food is being used effectively and efficiently.
The adoption of good irrigation practice is something that Hawke’s Bay Regional Council actively encourages. Irrigation means that Hawke’s Bay can continue to be a very productive region even when it gets dry, much like a home gardener needs water for a vege patch. An efficient irrigation system with excellent management means we can grow food while minimising the impact on the environment.
In recent years, the Irrigation check-up programme was run by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to help irrigators find out how well their system stacked up.
Many voluntary irrigators took part, with over 100 irrigation systems checked. Participants found the programme beneficial, and it helped to highlight areas for irrigation system improvements, that could ultimately benefit productivity and reduce environmental impacts.
The Irrigation check-up programme has helped to shape work programmes around improving irrigation management practices.
The programme identified some of the great things irrigators are doing:
• Many irrigation systems passed the performance checks with flying colours
• In year one, all newly installed irrigation systems had excellent performance.
• Orchardists are very proactive at getting consultancy advice around irrigation management and soil moisture monitoring
• The willingness to participate in the programme shows that irrigators are taking irrigation efficiency seriously
• Those with irrigation system that needed tweaks were being proactive at getting maintenance underway
The learnings from the irrigation check-up programme highlighted several key areas:
It is expected that changes in policy will soon require irrigation system performance checks.
You can find more information on how to check your irrigation system at Irrigation NZ - irrigationnz.co.nz search key word ‘annual assessment’.
Check in 'related documents' at the top of this page for irrigation check up reports.
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