Innovative irrigators united

Innovative irrigators united

Innovation, strength, organisational efficiencies and a commitment to ensuring environmentally and economically sustainable water is available for future generations. These are the cornerstones on which Ashburton-based irrigation co-operative MHV Water Ltd is based.

The eight-member MHV team is, from left to right: Mel Brooks, Mark Wilson, Murray Neutze, Giles Pinfold, Jo Naylor, Sam Anderson, Keith Hyslop.  Absent: William Dench.

MHV Water CEO Mel Brooks (pictured below) says the merging of Mayfield Hinds Irrigation Ltd and Valetta Irrigation Ltd on 1 June 2017 has created a united and stronger voice locally and regionally, promoting and progressing water and environmental issues in the Hinds Plains catchment area.

“Our scheme began in 1947 and, by investing in science and technology, we are continuing the innovation and foresight of our predecessors,” says Mel, pictured.

With scheme areas laying to the north and south of the Hinds River on the Canterbury Plains, MHV draws water for irrigation from the Rangitata River, through the Rangitata Diversion Race and delivers it to over 400 farmer shareholders via approx. 320km of open race and approx. 100km of piped infrastructure.

The landscape of the MHV scheme area is peppered with storage ponds, which are filled during times of low demand but designed to provide the farmer with an increased reliability of water should restrictions be imposed.

Mel Brooks says MHV Water is proud to be part of the agricultural community in Mid-Canterbury and shares the community’s desire to protect waterways for future generations.

“As an environmentally responsible organisation, MHV is continually looking at how we can improve our infrastructure and support shareholders to meet and exceed good management practices.

“We’re investing in science and technology, are a major contributor to the Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) pilot and continue to work closely with our farmers, who have invested millions of dollars on farm mitigations specifically to improve their environmental sustainability.  MAR has delivered great results so far in increasing ground water levels and decreasing nitrate levels, and we’re proud to support this initiative in our scheme area,” she says.

“Our farmers are leading the way with innovative and sustainable farming systems that are making a difference and we use our platform to share their journeys and best practices.

“We promote irrigator responsibility and education, undertake regular Farm Environment Plans and audits with our shareholders,” Mel says.

  • MHV Water is a Member of both Irrigation NZ and Cooperative Business NZ.