Canterbury irrigation schemes recognised
12th Mar 10, 3:16pm
Two controversial Canterbury irrigation schemes have come out winners in a competition for projects judged to have the potential to make $1 billion each in sales within 20 years reports Business Day. The $150 million Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme (CPW), now a cut-down irrigation project after widespread community opposition, and the Hurunui Water Project, were judged as having big potential. Together, the two want to irrigate more than 100,000 hectares of farmland in central and north Canterbury. They involve land acquisition and the construction of canals and a dam. The competition, which drew 18 entries, was the brainchild of University of Canterbury vice- chancellor Dr Rod Carr. The competition idea, which came out of the Canterbury employment summit last year, is backed by the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce and the Canterbury Development Corporation. The projects had to demonstrate the potential to generate $100m of revenue within five years and $1b within 20 years, but needed professional help to develop. That could include feasibility studies, and legal and financial advice and project management. The promoters of the competition want Canterbury's water resources developed. Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said: "We spend too much time in Canterbury saying why we can't do things and not enough time thinking about why we should do them and the consequences that that has for enriching our community."