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

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

Advice for irrigators over a long, dry summer

7th December 2017

With much of New Zealand experiencing exceptionally dry conditions, IrrigationNZ has some advice for irrigators on how to make the most efficient use of water over summer. According to NIWA, several areas in the South and North Island came close….. Read more

Irrigation a boost for communities

4th December 2017

IrrigationNZ supports Minister of Regional Development Shane Jones’s announcement that regional economic development funding could support some water irrigation projects. “Water infrastructure plays a vital role in creating resilient rural communities,” says IrrigationNZ Chief Executive Andrew Curtis.  “Several New Zealand….. Read more

IrrigationNZ back to help improve irrigation management

23rd November 2017

IrrigationNZ will be back on farms this summer testing irrigation systems and helping farmers improve the efficiency of their irrigation. Last summer, IrrigationNZ in partnership with Environment Canterbury, developed a new testing programme which saw 131 Ashburton farms have their….. Read more

Petition misrepresents irrigation facts

14th November 2017

IrrigationNZ says that the petition presented by Greenpeace at Parliament today misrepresents how irrigation has been funded and used and ignores the wide range of benefits to New Zealand from irrigation, as well as the efforts being made to address….. 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

New Zealand Certificate in Irrigation System Design

January 18, 2018 - January 19, 2018

Acquire the specialist skills required to design technically efficient and environmentally sustainable irrigation systems. This certificate is suitable for people with prior knowledge and experience in irrigation. You will be required to design two different irrigation systems so will need….. Read more

Irrigation Accreditation

Smart Irrigation