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Irrigation and the Environment

Actions and Detail Panel

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Join us to hear how public perspectives are changing around irrigation and what can we do to further improve the PR of irrigation in NZ

About this Event

There are 2 main ecological apprehensions around irrigation – the accessibility and availability of water and the consequences of obtaining it from natural resources, and nitrate discharge correlated with heightened livestock totals or crop production on irrigated acreage. Irrigation approaches have progressed significantly from wild flooding in Central Otago to border dyke system. Scientific research has concluded that nitrate leaching is far less of an issue from spray irrigation methods than from flood irrigation methods. In light of this, we still have a lot of learnings to be had about irrigation to ensure that we not only continue to protect bodies of water from desolation but also continue to reduce water run off in into streams and lakes.   

Join us to hear from Independent freshwater policy and governance specialist, Elizabeth Soal to hear her perspective on how irrigation in New Zealand is changing, how perspectives on irrigation are changing and how it is impacting our environment. We will also hear how what she believes success of irrigation in farming systems in Canterbury might look like and the innovations on the horizon to further improve the impact on the environment from irrigation.   

Timings:

9.00am : Welcome & introduction from B.linc via Zoom

9.10am : Keynote address - Elizabeth Soal

What innovative technologies are currently being used on field to ensure that water usage is the most efficient it can be? How do we continue to protect water bodies from desolation while maintaining adequate irrigation for premium yield? What technologies or learnings are in place to reduce any negative impacts from irrigation with regards to nitrate leaching and run off? How are the perspectives of the public changing around irrigation and what can we do to further improve the PR of irrigation in New Zealand? What exciting developments are on the horizon?

9.40am : Panel discussion/Interactive Q&A session with the audience

10.20: Close from B.linc

10.30am : Event finishes

About Our Speaker

Elizabeth Soal, Independent Freshwater policy and governance specialist

Having previously been the Chief Executive of IrrigationNZ Elizabeth Soal took on the role as Regional Policy and Planning Manager in October 2020 before leaving in March 2021 to pursue her own independent consultancy business. Prior to her time at IrrigationNZ she worked as the Director of Strategy and Policy at the Waitaki Irrigators Collective and prior to that as a social development policy advisor. Until recently she sat on the Technical Committee of the International Alliance for Water Stewardship, based in Edinburgh. The Alliance aims to improve water-related outcomes across the globe through the setting of internationally-agreed water stewardship standards. Elizabeth is currently working towards a PhD in Geography at Otago University which focuses on past and present freshwater governance in New Zealand.

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