The Government is putting more money into regional irrigation projects, this time in Central Otago and Rangitikei.
It is contributing $750,000 from its irrigation acceleration fund towards the next stage of investigations for a water scheme in the Manuherikia catchment in Central Otago.
There is the potential to more than double the area of irrigated land there, to 35,000 hectares.
The work programme will complete technical, environmental and economic investigations to identify the best options for water use.
Otago Regional Council has already contributed about $370,000 towards earlier work and it has earmarked a further $220,000 over the next two years.
The Government is also contributing $100,000 towards a water management study for the Rangitikei District in the North Island, matching funding from the district council.
It will assess the availability and supply of water in the district.