Published date29 July 2021
Well done Ben and Vanessa Hore (The News, July 15) for deciding to take control of your future by digging two large water storage ponds at your farm near Omakau. How sensible is that.

Successful businesses look ahead and assess risk, then take action to mitigate or remove that risk.

In this case the threat is about reliable water supply in dry periods.

Successful farmers will want to manage their own situation by ensuring they have water throughout the year when they need it. Not just for now but into the future.

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) Manuherikia water management document clearly shows that raising the minimum water flow in the Manuherikia will have a significant effect on farming.

However, not raising the minimum flow will have a severe impact on the health of the river and the recreational enjoyment of the river.

The ORC document recently out for discussion appears to be well grounded in the scientific evidence and proposed five options — all of which increase the minimum water flow over the current level.

Gary Kelliher has said on many occasions and in the article referred to above, that there is more science out there that has not been considered. We need to see this science, Gary.

Give us references; give us research links so we can consider the relevance of this material.

If this is new material then we need to study it. If it is not new or is irrelevant then it needs to be put to one side.

To keep referring to unidentified science is a distraction in the debate.

The recently released summary of consultation on the management of the Manuherikia (ORC July 22) showed that the majority of submitters preferred the higher flow option (3000 l/sec).

Setting the minimum flow at this level will have a major impact on farming in this area. Farmers and farming are important to us as they contribute to our economy and keep food on our tables.

We can’t do without them and farmers need water.

But does it have to be drawn from the river as it is needed? Why not take it when the river is full and store it until required.

The Hores have done just that and found an excellent way of future-proofing their lifestyle and their business, and we should all commend them for that.

Perhaps supplementary on-farm water storage is the way forward for all farmers who rely on taking water from the Manuherikia.

It seems to solve the problem of keeping the river healthy and the farmers in business.

It simply makes good sense.

Karin Bowen, Alexandra

Masterplan a good idea


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