The following future project is budgeted and/or included in the Long Term Plan 2015-25.
Under the proposed Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan, there is a need to reduce stockwater sourced from the Ashburton River system by 2023. Council is considering options, costs and implications for potentially closing the stockwater race schemes in Ashburton District, in favour of alternative supply means.
Council considers it has an obligation to provide stockwater (or advice on alternative options) to properties due to the historic nature of the service.
Council proposed to continue to work with the commercial irrigation providers to extend the network where practicable and will undertake a project to service the remaining properties though rural water supply schemes or individual bores.
There would be no impact on general rates. The extension of the piped irrigation network is likely to be undertaken by irrigation providers, with Council providing water rights in exchange. The ongoing maintenance will be funded on a user pays basis through those schemes.
The additional rural water supply schemes and individual bores could be loan funded and repaid through targeted rates on the benefiting properties or other funding sources. Council has budgeted $2 million to investigate and progress the provision of stockwater to these properties.