Lack of water resources is becoming a problem for New Zealand’s agriculture sector. Factors such as urbanisation, damming modifications and varying weather conditions are polluting the country’s water resources.
Various water resources are available for use and reuse if collected and stored properly. Farmer and growers can make use of simple installations and services to create a continuous supply of water for operations.
Here are three sources of water farmers and growers can take advantage of, either for storage or immediate use:
Bore water is groundwater that is collected from aquifers. This can be accessed by drilling a bore into a natural underground water reservoir to create a well. Professional well drillers can identify whether there is groundwater on a property and assess the best way to drill the water for use. Bore water may contain micro-organisms and chemicals and may require treatment before being used.
Streams such as rivers and creeks are good examples of surface water. Surface water is the accumulation of rainwater and run-off groundwater. This is a limited resource and is typically shared by communities in which the streams flow. Streams may also contain micro-organisms and chemicals and may require treatment before being used.
Rainwater and Stormwater
Rainwater is collected through the run-offs from roofs. Farmers and growers can customise roof systems and direct the rainwater to a storage space. Rainwater tanks are ideal storage for rainwater supplies. This is a free and sustainable water resource that farmers and growers can stock up on for future use.
Stormwater is collected from the ground. Stream overflow and floodwater are also considered stormwater and can also be collected. However, this water would most probably be contaminated and would require treatment for use.
The challenge of the lack of water resources in New Zealand can be resolved with practical solutions. Since agriculture is an industry that requires a continuous water supply, sustainable ways to collect and store water should be a priority. These sources of water can mostly be used all year round, making them a cost-effective and reliable solution.