Irrigating top tips for the upcoming summer season
Summer is just about here and that means irrigation will become more widespread across North Canterbury. Irrigation can support better growth in paddocks, providing more feed for animals and better conditions for growing crops.
Water is a precious resource in the Waimakariri, Hurunui and Waiau areas – particularly in dry periods like summer.
Waimakariri and Hurunui Waiau zone delivery lead Marco Cataloni said people are strongly encouraged to irrigate efficiently and consider their overall water use.
Over 500,000 hectares of land is irrigated in Canterbury.
Cataloni said one key factor people should consider when choosing their irrigation system, is its efficiency.
"You should look for one which will maximise the amount of pasture grown while using as little water possible.
"Well-managed irrigation systems protect water quality and quantity, save on pumping costs and protect soil structure, ultimately retaining valuable nutrients."
Irrigation on the road and considering the weather
One key consideration for those irrigating is making sure it stays off the road.
"It’s vital irrigation systems only water within people’s property boundaries and not on the roads where it causes a hazard," Cataloni said.
"The most common reasons for water going over-boundary are the extra spray from end guns on pivot irrigators, and travelling irrigators getting too close to roads," he added.
On hot, windy days, irrigation water drifts on roads, which can contribute to road deterioration and make the hot tar slippery.
"These problems can be easily solved by checking that end guns are set and operating correctly and setting back travelling irrigators an adequate distance from the road," Cataloni said.
Careful placement of irrigators is also needed during Norwest conditions, to ensure irrigators aren’t knocked over.
Cataloni said it’s important anyone carrying out irrigation ensures they keep up-to-date with the latest restrictions.
"These relate to specific areas, which may relate to the consent you hold. Restrictions are put in place to help reserve water when stock is low," he said.
Information for lifestyle block owners
Lifestyle block owners can find details on the permitted volumes of water, including for domestic and stock water purposes in the following documents:
- Domestic and Stock Water Take Guidance (PDF File, 2.22MB)
- Water use for lifestyle blocks Information Guide (PDF File, 327.04KB)
You may also be able to take a permitted volume of water for other purposes depending on the location of your property and other factors.
We can help you determine how much water you can take and whether there are any other considerations to take into account.
Find out more
- Irrigation scheme contacts
- Waimakariri innovation project advances irrigation practices (PDF file, 5.4 MB)
- Contacting your local zone delivery team – Kaikōura/Hurunui Waiau/Waimakariri.