Irrigation efficiency programme

Improving irrigation efficiency is a great opportunity to reduce costs, improve resource use, increase profitability and minimise impacts on the environment. Our industry-led irrigation support programme will help farmers in the Ashburton district get to know their system better and see where improvements can be made.

The irrigation efficiency programme includes:

  • distribution uniformity testing (bucket tests)*
  • an estimate of water use efficiency using water meter data
  • an opportunity to attend a small group discussion with other farmers and industry experts to understand the results and identify next steps.

A wide-range of industry organisations, water user groups and irrigation schemes in the Ashburton district are supporting the programme, including Irrigation NZ and Environment Canterbury.

More efficient water use is a major theme of the Farm Environment Plan (FEP) programmes many farmers will be involved with.

*Please read the agreement for distribution uniformity testing.

Agreement for distribution uniformity testing
  1. A distribution uniformity (DU) test will be carried out on up to two irrigation sprinkler systems per property for a fee of $100+GST.
  2. The DU test will be carried out at a mutually acceptable time and location.
  3. The irrigation system owner or an appropriate member of the farm enterprise team must participate in the DU test.
  4. The DU test will be carried out using methods developed by Irrigation New Zealand (INZ). An app has been developed by INZ to support the DU testing process.
  5. Farmers participating in the testing programme are expected to attend a follow-up session with fellow farmers to discuss their results. These sessions will be run by INZ.
  6. Data and results from the test will remain in the ownership of the irrigation system owner and shall not be released to other parties without the specific permission of the system owner.
  7. The project partners may collate the aggregated data and results for the purpose of identifying trends, issues and opportunities for farmers to improve water use efficiency.
  8. Personnel undertaking the tests will be employed directly by Environment Canterbury and will generally use Environment Canterbury identified vehicles and equipment.
  9. All health and safety requirements will be met when working on a farm property.

Useful contacts

If you are interested in participating in the irrigation efficiency programme, register by contacting one of the programme partners.