7 Dec 2009

McKenzie Basin irrigation proposals to be challenged

6:10 pm on 7 December 2009

Applications to take a large volume of water for irrigation in the McKenzie Basin in South Canterbury will be challenged at a hearing in Christchurch this week.

A newly formed group, the Mackenzie Guardians, is opposing 110 applications to use water from rivers, streams and lakes to irrgate more than 27,000 hectares in the Upper Waitaki region.

The group is also concerned about plans to establish new style dairy farms in the Lake Ohau area, housing more than 18,000 cows in stables for most of the year.

A spokesperson for the Guardians, Jane Zusters, sees the proposals as a threat to the environment and to wildlife.