[07 May/The Country]

A $45 million dollar project to upgrade the Kurow-Duntroon Irrigation Company’s scheme is set to be finished early next year. The Waitaki District Council approved a loan of $3 million towards the scheme last year, praising the environmental benefits of the modernisation. The upgrade includes replacing about 44km of existing ageing open canal with 37km of piped irrigation infrastructure, and the scheme modernisation included doubling the irrigated area from about 2000ha to more than 4000ha, serving farmers from a range of sectors. Marcus Brown, Project Manager reported that solid progress this has already occurred this year. Brown said when the scheme was fully operational that the area irrigated would grow to about 4100ha and serve up to 70 shareholders.