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Selwyn River funding welcomed

Published: Thu 10 Aug 2017 03:18 PM
10 August 2017
Selwyn River funding welcomed
Environment Canterbury and the Selwyn Waihora Water Zone Committee today welcomed the Government’s announcement of more than $1 million in funding towards restoration of a valued community swimming spot and improved aquatic habitat for native fish species and brown trout.
Zone Committee Chair Allen Lim said he was “thrilled” at the announcement.
An off-take for long-term access to water from the Central Plains Water scheme pipeline will be installed to significantly improve water quantity and quality of Waikirikiri/Selwyn River system, including the Hororata, Irwell and Selwyn Rivers as well as their nearby wetlands and Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere.
“The pipeline will result in more water in the river that has particularly suffered from drought in recent summers and restoration of swimming sites,” said Stefanie Rixecker, Environment Canterbury Science Director.
Recent research shows just how much the community valued the opportunity to swim at spots like Coes Ford. “A detailed plan is currently being implemented to make the Selwyn swimmable at this site,” Allen Lim said. “Restrictions on water takes from the river are already in place, new takes are prohibited, and water transfers are restricted,” he said.
“The Central Plains Water project will replace groundwater takes with water from the Rakaia River, leaving more in the groundwater system to support the Selwyn. Further restrictions on groundwater takes in this area are being considered.
“This funding gives us a better opportunity to improve the health of the Waikirikiri / Selwyn River system for current and future generations,” Stefanie Rixecker concluded.
The Central Plains Water scheme is being discussed at a community seminar on 17 August at Lincoln University: https://www.ecan.govt.nz/get-involved/news-and-events/events-2017/whats-going-on-selwyn-waihora-seminars/
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