The Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) project aims to inject water from the Waipaoa River into the Makauri aquifer for use on 3000 hectares of irrigated horticultural farmland. Once complete, the trial will show if it's possible to increase water in the aquifer with minimal impact on water quality and the environment.
The Makauri aquifer is the largest underneath the Poverty Bay Flats, extending from Kaiteratahi down to Makaraka and spanning both sides of the Waipaoa River.
The trial began in 2017, jointly funded by Council, Ministry for Primary Industries and Eastland Community Trust. During the trial 75,000m3 of water was successfully injected into the aquifer.
Resource consent application for stage 2 lodged in March 2018, it's a limited notification to Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust (RIT).
RIT have made a submission against the MAR trial, requiring a hearing - likely to be held August 2018.
The actual injection trial will follow in 2019 and 2020 if consent is granted.
During the consenting process, work will continue to improve the network of bores used for environmental monitoring.
2 new purpose built monitoring bores will be constructed in June/July 2018.
Council secured $542,000 from Provincial Growth (PGF) for the second stage of the trial however, this depends on us obtaining the remainder of the funding.
Council committed $160,000 in the 2018-28 Long Term Plan and has applied to ECT for the remaining $488,000 needed to undertake the trial.