DairyNZ welcomes regional water storage announcement
30 April 2020
DairyNZ is welcoming the water storage initiatives for drought-stricken Northland and Hawke’s Bay but is urging the Government to consider a national strategy, says DairyNZ strategy and investment leader – responsible dairy, Dr David Burger.
“This announcement will be welcome news for farmers in the Northland and Hawke’s Bay regions who have really been doing it tough this summer with very little rain,” said Dr Burger.
“As a country there are huge opportunities for water storage to help increase reliability of water supply in times of drought, to enable land-use flexibility and farming within environmental limits, and to help regions like Northland unlock their full economic potential.”
DairyNZ views water storage as a way to provide farmers with sure access to water when faced with adverse conditions, which may become more frequent in a changing climate.
“DairyNZ does not view water storage as a means to further intensification in already over-allocated catchments, it’s about ensuring sure access to water when they need it,” said Dr Burger. “It’s great to see the Government investing in small scale water storage initiatives that will help build resilience in rural communities but we are calling on the Government to take a step back and look at the big picture – what we need is a national water storage strategy.
“We have had constructive meetings with Minister Jones on this very topic earlier this year and look forward to advancing the conversation further over the coming weeks.”