Irrigation New Zealand
  • Variable summer-dry climatic conditions coupled with market supply and value add processing requirements mean irrigation is now essential for consistent and quality food production on the summer dry east coast of NZ.
  • There are currently around 720,000ha (StatisticsNZ 2012) of irrigation in NZ. Available water resources, topography and demand show this figure can be sustainably increased to in excess of 1 million.
  • Since the late 1970’s irrigated NZ farmland has doubled in area every 12 years.
  • NZ derives significant socio-economic benefit from irrigated agriculture. There is also additional social, recreational and environmental benefit from modern multi-purpose irrigation infrastructure upgrade and development.
  • In 2002/03, 4% of NZ farmland was irrigated, producing $1billion net per annum at farmgate or 12% of the agriculture GDP.
  • In 2012/13 irrigation had increased to 6% of NZ farmland, $2billion net at farmgate or 20% of agriculture GDP.
  • Irrigated farmland typically generates three times the production of an equivalent area farmed under dry-land systems.
  • Alongside private individuals the wider community also benefits significantly from irrigation.
  • Studies of the socio-economic effect of irrigated agriculture show for every $1 of wealth created on an irrigated farm at least another $3 is created in the wider rural and urban communities.
  • NZ has abundant water resources to meet present and projected demand, however it will require the development of large scale water storage in order to achieve this.
  • Reliability of supply (water storage) is essential for efficient irrigation. Reducing water supply risk allows investment in high performance irrigation systems and the adoption of SMART ‘just in time’ irrigation practices.
  • Strategic management of the water resource is required to ensure the opportunities irrigated agriculture can offer are maximised in a sustainable manner, safeguarding the values of the many diverse stakeholder interests.
  • In NZ increased production quality and continuity of supply allows greater added value to be realised. Importantly this results in resilient and prosperous communities.
  • Reliable and secure water supply combined with well managed irrigation practices will result in good environmental outcomes and overcome perceived land use change intensification issues.
  • Overseas irrigation is commonly government funded due to its proven benefits for community socio-economic development.
  • IrrigationNZ was established to proactively represent and provide a leadership role for irrigation in NZ. The benefits, from the role IrrigationNZ plays, will be realised by individuals, communities and the wider NZ economy.

NEWS

How farms are working to reduce environmental impacts in Selwyn 

14th February 2018

It’s been a busy time for many Selwyn farms over the past few months. After a record breaking dry spell in late 2017, we received some welcome rain in January.  In conditions like these, irrigation is really important both for….. Read more

NZ needs more water storage in a changing climate

8th February 2018

The importance of water storage in helping provide a reliable supply of water for urban communities, and for food and energy production in a changing climate needs to be recognised, says IrrigationNZ. “We are seeing the effects of poor future….. Read more

What can we learn from 2017’s wild weather about managing water?

8th February 2018

  As year’s went 2017 was a fairly dramatic one. In February, one of the biggest fires in New Zealand history ignited on the Port Hills amid tinder dry conditions, causing thousands of residents to be evacuated. In March, the….. Read more

Free irrigation workshop for Bay of Plenty farmers

18th January 2018

Bay of Plenty dairy farmers have the opportunity to join a free workshop showing them how to optimise their irrigation use. The workshop will be run by IrrigationNZ and will cover how to assess how well irrigation systems are performing…… Read more

Irrigation Workshops – Marlborough and Tasman

7th December 2017

With challenging dry conditions continuing across the Upper South Island, Marlborough and Tasman irrigators will have the opportunity to find out how to be more efficient in their water use at upcoming workshops hosted by IrrigationNZ. “Understanding how to monitor….. Read more

EVENTS

Irrigation Efficiency Summer Programme

November 7, 2017 - February 28, 2018

                                 Is your irrigation equipment operating as it should? What improvements could be made? These are questions that can be technically challenging and costly. To help irrigating farmers navigate to Good Management….. Read more

Foundations of working with tangata whenua workshop

March 6 - March 7

Given the considerable interest shown, INZ have organised a workshop on how to be effective working and negotiating with tangata whenua. Proudly supported by our training partners The learning objectives of this are to: Have a basic idea of who….. Read more

Irrigation Accreditation

Smart Irrigation