Water is an increasingly valuable resource in our region. Over the past few years demand for irrigable land has increased considerably, primarily driven by horticultural growers looking to establish lucrative crops such as apples and kiwifruit in Tairawhiti Gisborne.
The local business community has identified horticulture as a means of generating wealth, boosting employment and stimulating the local economy. However, the ability of our region to establish a thriving horticultural sector is limited by our lack of fresh water.
With water consents for the Waipaoa River fully subscribed and the Makauri and other aquifers already substantially over-allocated, even current users face the possibility of further water restrictions. Finally, climate change is projected to create hotter, drier conditions locally over the next decade. This may further decrease the availability of freshwater over the next decade and place increasing pressure on our region’s water resources.
There is, however, another plentiful local source of water: treated wastewater.
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