The economic impact of increased irrigation

May 9, 2011

This project seeks to estimate the national 'NZ Inc' economic impacts of increasing irrigation in Canterbury, Wairarapa, Waimea and Hawke's Bay by a total of 347,000 hectares.

 Significant off-farm capital investment is required to provide the irrigation water. Once water is flowing, land-use change from non-irrigated to irrigated will deliver gains in agricultural production, however require extra on-farm capital investment in irrigation systems. The task of this project is to estimate the impact of these changes on the national economy. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) asked for this analysis to be completed using a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model which captures the flow-on impacts of the increased irrigation across the wider economy. This project does not attempt to quantify the environmental, social or regional impacts of the irrigation schemes. Similarly, we do not attempt to investigate the relative merits of public versus private sector funding of the schemes.

Please contact NZIER if you would like a copy of this report.