Delivering an Improved Environment through Greater Resource Use Efficiency
AIC strives to be a trusted and progressive irrigation company, efficiently and sustainably supplying reliable water.
Our vision for the future is optimistic and forward looking with a commitment to sustainable, modern productive agriculture that seeks continuous improvement in its economic productivity; efficiently uses of natural resources with a high standard of environmental care; and remains a major contributor to the general prosperity and wellbeing of the Amuri area.
AIC recognises the competing demands on water for economic, recreational and environmental values and is committed to its sustainable use for abstraction, reticulation and irrigation use.
Historically, AIC’s shareholders have demonstrated a willingness to become engaged in projects that aim to address identified environmental concerns. The ECan sponsored Land Use and Water Quality (LUWQ) pilot project and the Pahau River Enhancement Project offer practical examples of initiatives that led to improved environmental standards through better farm management and resource use.
Developments and improvements in irrigation practice by the scheme’s shareholders over a number of years has also led to greater efficiency of water use and a consequent reduction in environmental impact. The move away from borderdyke irrigation to more efficient and technologically advanced spray irrigation systems has reduced wipe-off water, runoff and associated nutrient loss. This is not only beneficial in terms of protecting water quality, but also in terms of resource use efficiency and a reduction in operating costs for farmers. These operational changes have significantly reduced loss of sediment and associated phosphorous to waterways, and in part leading to the reduction in the phosphorous load in the Hurunui River in recent years.
Most recently AIC has taken on a leading role in contributing to achieving the water quality objectives of the Hurunui and Waiau Regional River Plan (HWRRP). Where possible, AIC works in close partnership with the Zone Committee, Environment Canterbury, various industry organisations, community groups and most importantly the irrigated and dry land landowners and farmers of the Hurunui and Waiau catchments to help achieve the shared objectives for the catchment. AIC’s Environmental Project Manager, Alastair Rutherford has prepared an ambitious Environmental Management Strategy (EMS) to help achieve the water quality objectives of the HWRRP. A copy of the plan can be viewed here: Irrigation Scheme Management Plan (2018)
Environmental Management Strategy (EMS)
The EMS sets out AIC’s five year Irrigation Scheme Management Plan which received full approval from ECan in July 2015. This document was developed in accordance with Schedule 2 of the Hurunui and Waiau Regional River Plan (HWRRP), which became operative on 20 December 2013, and the recommendations of the Hurunui Waiau Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP). In the preparation of its ISMP, AIC consulted various academic experts, industry organisations, land managers within the catchment area, the Zone Implementation Committee and Environment Canterbury. AIC has recently completed a review and update of the ISMP in December 2018.
AIC fully supports the Zone Committee’s recognition that the future social and economic prosperity of the zone is largely dependent on the utilisation of its water resources for agricultural and horticultural development through the expansion of irrigation and tourism activities. AIC also shares the Zone Committee’s vision that this can be achieved while maintaining, but striving to enhance, environmental outcomes in order to achieve a “net gain” for water resources and associated ecosystems as well as preserving cultural and recreational values.
The Environmental Management Strategy sets out how AIC will work to achieve:
- The reduction of nitrogen and phosphorous loads in catchment waterways;
- More efficient use of natural resources including water, soils and nutrients through improved farm management practices;
- The protection of ecologically important wetlands and areas of native vegetation and habitats;
- Well trained and motivated farm staff and managers that have the skills and understanding to deliver environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable farming; and
- The maintenance and enhancement of economically sustainable farming in the Hurunui and Waiau catchments, which underpins the wider economic and social well-being of the area.
A central consideration in the development of this Strategy is a desire to seek sustainable outcomes that can deliver both environmental gains and production efficiencies through better management and more efficient resource use. This in turn helps agriculture remain productive, profitable and a major contributor to the economic and social development of the Amuri area.
For any enquiries relating to environmental matters, please contact our Environmental Manager Alastair Rutherford on 021 474 707 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Materials for Winter Grazing
- Environmental Collective Newsletter (June 2019)
- Environmental Collective Newsletter (March 2019)
- Environmental Collective Newsletter (August 2018)
- Environmental Collective Newsletter (May 2018)
- Environmental Collective Newsletter (November 2017)
- Environmental Collective Newsletter (August 2017)
Recognition and Achievements
- Coverage of New Zealand River Awards (November 2017)
- FEP template approved by Environment Canterbury (November 2018)
- Pahau-Enhancement-Group-Award (NZ Dairy 2011)
- Press coverage of EMS approval (November 2014)
- Hurunui News – ECan gives thumbs up to Environment Strategy
- Freshwater mussels found in Culverden stream -November 2015