Science discussions on future of Manuherikia catchment

Otago Regional Council met with irrigators and water permit holders in Omakau for a series of sessions to explain the science that informs the draft minimum flows

Five sessions were held and included the Dunstan, Lauder, Thomsons and Chatto creeks, along with a session focusing on the main stem of the Manuherikia River.

Staff from the Environmental Resource Science unit presented detailed information on the ecology and hydrology of the Manuherikia catchment.

Chief Executive Sarah Gardner says with a series of irrigation schemes, many of which originated from the old days of goldmining, the Manuherikia catchment is a complex one.

Social, economic and cultural reports are yet to be completed for the Manuherikia catchment. When finalised, these reports will help determine the minimum flow limits that will be put forward for notification.

Mrs Gardner made an organisational commitment to hold more meetings in order to share and understand data from irrigators.

 One of those scenarios will include the current minimum flow that irrigators on the main stem manage.

The data presented to the attendees was collected from two sources: resource consents and data collected from flow monitoring and flow gauging.

Read more on the background of the Manuherikia Catchment