[5 July] Central Plains Water Trust has applied for extensive resource consents to take up to 40cu from each of the Waimakariri and Rakaia rivers for irrigation of 60,000ha of farmland, subject to the existing minimum flow regime. A 12km2 storage lake will be created. The consents are for 35 years. Submissions due August 18 with hearings planned for later this year.
The Assessment of Environmental Effects (Kowai intake) (PDF, 4.1Mb) makes little mention of kayaking, saying only Reducing the mainstream riffle depth is possibly of greater concern to activities that require longer lengths of river, such as the jet boaters and canoeists/kayakers, who require a minimum water depth of 0.2 and 0.1 metres respectively. The effect of the reduced downstream quantity of water is assessed as having a low potential to affect both instream and land-based recreation. (6.4.7, p6-9). The NZRCA will be making a submission opposing the consents. Updated, 12 August: Fixed URI to AEE.