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Updated at 7:44 am on 5 February 2013
The Government has agreed to change the Conservation Order covering Canterbury's Rakaia River to provide for irrigation needs.
The change, recommended by Canterbury Regional Council, will allow TrustPower to release water from Lake Coleridge to supplement the water available for irrigation when the river is low.
The power company will be able to apply for resource consent to construct a canal from the hydro lake to link up with the Central Plains irrigation scheme.
Central Plains already has consents to take water from the Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers to irrigate up to 60,000 hectares of farmland.
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