PIERS FULLER Last updated 12:51, April 23 2018 Ross Giblin The Ruamāhanga River near Te Whiti Rd, Masterton. Plans to cut water availability near Wairarapa waterways could lead to farmers turning their land into lifestyle blocks and walking away.The Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Ruamāhanga Whaitua Committee, a catchment advisory group, has released several recommendations, one of which includes stopping groundwater extraction from Wairarapa’s main rivers when water levels are below minimum flow.A double whammy for Masterton district is that the minimum flow levels of the Upper Ruamāhanga and Waipoua rivers would also increase, thereby extending the likely periods of no water availability. LOREN DOUGAN Jamie Falloon of Federated Farmers says lack of water could lead to farmers selling up. The recommendations were more severe than the proposed Natural Resources Plan, which allowed users with a direct connection to a waterway to reduce their take by 50 per cent at minimum flow.READ MORE:Ruamahanga: the story of a riverThe way to value water rights might be to allow them to be tradedWhen the river runs dry: The true cost of NZ waterCanterbury struggling with water quality targets, good progress on irrigationFederated Farmers Wairarapa branch president Jamie Falloon said those changes could make farming uneconomic for tracts within 800 metres of affected waterways. CALEB HARRIS/FAIRFAX… Read full this story
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