Four South Island irrigation and water storage projects and one in the North Island have received Government funding to help with design costs.
The Community Irrigation Fund was set up three years ago to help rural communities meet the planning and development costs of new schemes and was broadened earlier this year to include detailed technical and engineering design work.
The five schemes which applied for funding under the new category have all been successful.
About half the latest allocation of almost $2 million will go to a storage dam proposed for the Upper Lee River in Tasman District to provide irrigation water for the Waimea Plains.
The proposed Hunter Downs Irrigation Scheme in South Canterbury, which aims to distribute water from the Waitaki River, is getting $276,000.
The existing Mayfield-Hinds and Ashburton-Lyndhurst schemes which draw water from the Rangitata and Ashburton Rivers in Canterbury are getting support for design work to upgrade canal systems to pipes.
In the North Island, there's funding for the proposed Maungaroa Irrigation Scheme in eastern Bay of Plenty that will pump and pipe water from the Kereru River to Te Kaha.
So far, 15 different community irrigation schemes and water storage projects and eight local government water strategies have received Government money.