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MAR trial gearing up

4 May 2017

MAR trial gearing up

The Environmental Planning and Regulatory committee were given an update on how the managed aquifer recharge trial was tracking at its meeting on Wednesday 3 May.

Construction of the injection bore was completed last week despite slow progress due to recent wet weather events.

Acting Environmental and Regulatory Services Group Manager Lois Easton says the headworks and other infrastructure at the extraction point from the Waipaoa River will be installed between 7 – 19 May.

Pump testing of the injection bore will be undertaken over the next week to determine potential injection rates. 

“The results of this small injection will be analysed before a decision is made whether or not to continue with the more extensive trial,” says Ms Easton.

The $450k budget for the pilot project is joint funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries' Irrigation Acceleration Fund and the Eastland Community Trust.

Detailed costings are currently being finalised for all the infrastructure required for the trial, that include extra costs associated in moving the trial site to Kaiaponi and meeting consent conditions.

Ms Easton says staff are currently negotiating to make a further application to MPI to cover the additional costs.

The full trial is scheduled to begin 22 May with the injection of 10,000m3 of water over a 10 day period.

The aim of the trial is to see if it’s possible to use Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) technology to increase the water levels in the aquifer.

The water levels in the Makauri Aquifer are declining and it is a much needed source of water for irrigating crops on the Poverty Bay Flats.

Ms Easton says all going well the Minister of Primary industries Nathan Guy has signalled that he will make a visit to the trial site in June.

For more information on MAR bores

MAR injection bore

The completed injection bore in place at Kaiaponi Farms