Federated Farmers is urging the Government, and all political parties, to make water storage a priority.
Sater spokesperson Hugh Ritchie says river water allocation systems leave farmers too vulnerable to drought and floods and water storage is critical to New Zealand's future.
Currently most Government funding comes in the form of grants, such as the Community Irrigation Fund, which can be used to help with the costs of developing water storage and irrigation schemes.
But Mr Ritchie says that still leaves communities with raising money for construction and resource consent costs, which carry a big price tag.
He says all political parties need to give serious consideration to funding for water storage, when they consider any "emergency" infrastructure spending plans over the next few weeks.