The national irrigation organisation says a grand canal linking Canterbury's irrigation and water storage systems would make economic as well as environmental sense
A canal stretching from the north to the south of the region is still only an idea at this stage, but it's being considered as part of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.
If it went ahead, a 60km head-race canal between the Waimarariri and Rakaia rivers would form the centrepiece of the proposed Central Plains Irrigation Scheme.
Irrigation New Zealand chief executive Andrew Curtis, says there would be significant benefits in being able to link existing and future irrigation schemes and water storage facilites in Canterbury.
He says easing pressure on groundwater reserves on the Canterbury plains would be a major environmental gain.