8 months ago

Selwyn Times: July 12, 2016

Selwyn Times: July 12,

FREE TUESday JUly 12 2016 379 7100 Selwyn Winter driving Be prepared for all conditions Times Proudly locally owned and published by Star Media Award winning publishing group Kea (Nestor Notabilis) Ladbrooks, Tai Tapu, Leeston, Lincoln, Southbridge, Prebbleton, Halswell, Rolleston, Templeton, Burnham, West Melton, Darfield, Arthurs Pass Low rainfall could have major impact on farmers • By Tom Doudney SELWYN IRRIGATORS relying on groundwater will be facing another tough summer ahead unless the district gets a major downpour in the next six weeks. Groundwater levels are at historically low levels after a lack of significant rainfall in recent winters led to low recharge of the aquifers. HydroServices managing director Dr Tony Davoren said if there wasn’t a major downpour before September, farmers were likely to have to cut back their water takes in the next irrigation season “or else they will be sucking air.” May and June had seen only about 110mm of rainfall – not enough to lead to groundwater recharge. Usually, between mid-April and September 1, about 300mm would be required for good groundwater recharge. “We’re in a very difficult position right now,” Mr Davoren said. While low rainfall had caused the low groundwater Selwyn levels, Times increased use of groundwater 266mm for x agricultural 90mm use due to intensification of farming meant that recovery during recharge periods was less. “The effect on the groundwater is that it takes away all its resilience,” Mr Davoren said. Selwyn Waihora Zone Committee member and dairy farmer John Sunckell said the effects of a lack of rainfall on Selwyn’s farming community would be huge. “That will put real pressure on groundwater takes,” Mr Sunckell said. “For the majority of us sitting in the middle of the catchment, we could effectively see water drop off the end of our pipes.” •Turn to page 3 LUNCH TIME: Burnham Primary School embraced Maori Language Week with a hangi last week. Local kindergarten children and parents were invited to eat the food prepared by the pupils and cooked by members of the community. •For more school news turn to page 17. 16HMDG40918 Ph 03 324 2571 irrigation wells potable water supplies water quality testing ground source heating geotechnical assessment building foundations & retaining walls 120 High St, Southbridge