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Southern dry bites farmers as Otago water permits under scrutiny

The Otago Regional Council has a warning for farmers irrigating on old deemed mining permits.

A number of rivers in the region have fallen near or below their minimum flows, due to the dry weather.

Deemed permits have historically not been subject to flow restrictions, but chief executive Peter Bodeker says that’s no longer the case.

“The minimum flows have been established by the community, and it is our responsibility to enforce them, so that’s what we will be doing.”

Peter Bodeker says asking farmers to cut back on irrigation when it’s so dry, isn’t easy.

“So they went into the summer with less feed than last year, and then the drought on top of that, so it’s not ideal.”

He says the conditions aren’t unheard of in Otago though, and the farmers know how to get through. 

Peter Bodeker says they’re meeting with farmers and communities to ensure everyone does their bit.

– Newstalk ZB

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