The working groups of the water strategy have collectively worked on two resources that provide a pathway on how to meet the industry’s water goals and the steps that growers can take now to help improve water quality. The roadmap is a five-year plan to reach the industry’s water goals and details our work programme and key deliverables. The grower resource looks at what are the key actions growers can take and what we are doing to support them. NZKGI is committed to helping growers understand what is expected of them in terms of improving water quality. A number of Fortum members and growers now sit on the working groups where we work collectively in partnership with Zespri, Hort NZ and Maori Kiwifruit Growers.
Historically access to water has been relatively straightforward, however, the industry is set to grow by another 2,800ha by 2027. Along with increasing regulation and competition for water rights and usage, the environment for all growers is becoming increasingly complex.
Sustainability is a key driver in the NZ kiwifruit industry – both in terms of our returns and our impact on communities and the environment which is why the industry has developed a water strategy to protect and enhance water resources for our people, our environment and our communities while enabling the industry to grow. This includes looking at how we use water, and how we can do so in the most sustainable way, and how we can gather data to measure our progress and improve.
The Water Strategy Water Storage sub-group has developed a resource for growers that looks at water storage options and the pros and cons. With more a changing climate that is resulting in prolonged drier conditions, having access to water for irrigation is going to be critical. Having sufficient water storage allows you to harvest water in times of high flows (in line with your consent) for use at a later time which can also be used for frost protection. Water storage should be a priority consideration for all growers going forward and you can read more about it here.