The managers of a central Canterbury irrigation project are telling farmers they must commit to the project if it is to proceed.
The Central Plains Water irrigation project says it needs farmers to write cheques to invest in the 60,000 hectare irrigation scheme by the end of the month.
Consents and communications manager for the project Susan Goodfellow says the deadline for funding stage 1 is 31 October, and farmer shareholders need to have committed money to it by then if it's to get up and running.
Ms Goodfellow says it makes sense for farmers to get on board now.
She says at the end of the month the scheme will map those people who have committed and then design the water distribution network accordingly.
And the amount of water they have signed up for will dictate the size of pipes supplying farms.
She says putting in larger pipes later will be at shareholder expense, many times more expensive than the cost for foundation investors.