MAYFIELD HINDS IRRIGATION LIMITED
"To be the leading New Zealand water management organisation committed to supplying an accurately measured flow to all shareholders and through progressive innovation and effective asset management to meet the needs of existing and future shareholders".
To assist shareholders adopt robust environmentally and financially sustainable irrigation practices.
To progressively pursue the maximum use of our water entitlement through : Storage, Trading, Generation, Flexible water delivery and promotion of efficient use.
The Mayfield Hinds Irrigation Scheme delivers water from the Rangitata River via the Rangitata Diversion Race (RDR), and has since 1947.The Scheme was purchased from the Ministry of Works in 1990 and now operates as a farmer owned co-operative employing three Racemen, a General Manager and an Office Administrator.
Mayfield Hinds Irrigation Limited (MHIL) is the largest privately owned irrigation scheme in NZ, delivering water to 33,000 hectares of highly productive land. Today, most farms operate more efficient spray irrigation systems and our flows vary from 28 L/s to 300 L/s to accommodate farmer's requirements.
MHIL is "run of the river scheme", taking a maximum flow of 16.65 cumecs. Contracted water delivery to shareholder farmers is based on a maximum allocation of 3.5 mm per day. The irrigation starts from the 10th of September and finishes on the 9th of May (242 days). Irrigation restrictions are imposed by Environment Canterbury when the Rangitata and/or Ashburton rivers reach their respective minimum flows. Under the terms of the Water Supply Agreement the farmers are responsible for efficient use of water. Water allocations are controlled by experienced staff who report irrigation deliveries monthly to the MHIL Board. Policies require operators to minimise any risk to the environment.
The strength of Community Irrigation Schemes is the ability to promote irrigator responsibility.
The scheme is progressing a number of enhancement projects. A 6.1M m3 water storage facility is being constructed at Carew. This will provide additional reliability with the ability to store water in low demand periods for use when river restrictions arise. A Telemetry network has been commissioned providing the ability for better monitoring of water flows. Generation projects are being investigated, which would provide for a dual use of the resource and offset the demand that farmers put on electrical supplies. MHIL is also investigating pressure piping opportunities to reduce on farm pumping requirements and conserve water loss in open channels.
Although the scheme layout provides for five discharge points (of which we have both operational and emergency consents) the scheme operates a "NO DISCHARGE POLICY", preferring to only take water that is required to meet irrigation demand. Land use continues to change as a result of efficient use of water. Within the scheme boundary there are approximately 14,000 hectares not contracted. Trading of water is promoted to maximise efficient use.