Kakanui farmers reduce irrigation

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A meeting was held between Kakanui irrigators and the Otago Regional Council yesterday to discuss water levels at the Kakanui River.

River levels around the region, including the Kakanui River and the Waianakarua River, have been flowing at extremely low levels due to persistent dry conditions.

ORC chief executive Peter Bodeker said the meeting was held to get an update on flow levels and irrigation from the river following months of very little rainfall.

They were pleased with the way things were going at the moment in terms of how much water was being taken for irrigation, he said.

Farmers throughout Otago, including those who used the Kakanui River, had been making substantial sacrifices to ensure flow levels in rivers were sustained and had radically reduced irrigation, Mr Bodeker said.

“It’s certainly having an impact on their business.” The Kakanui River level did drop below minimum during the weekend but that was “a blip” caused by a small man-made dam, probably to make a swimming hole deeper, and had nothing to do with irrigation, he said.

River flows have since raised above minimum but remain low.

PHOTO: Farmers have reduced irrigation from rivers around Otago including the Kakanui River (pictured) to help sustain flow levels.