Farm Environment Plans are required for all farms in the Central Plains Water Limited (CPWL) scheme and certified advisers will help farmers with the development of these plans. Included in these plans will be establishing a nutrient management regime for each farm that complies with the nutrient criteria for the Selwyn Waihora Zone.
These plans are subject to an annual audit, which will be carried out by an independent assessor. Any non-compliance must be rectified within a specified period of time. If not rectified, the supply of water to the offending user can be turned off.
The key aims of the Farm Environment Plan are:
- To minimise the loss of nitrate-nitrogen to soil drainage water and to minimise any loss of sediment, phosphorus or nitrogen to surface waters
- To establish an annual nutrient budget
In addition, the Farm Environment Plan will ensure:
- Stock is excluded from waterways and wetlands including drains and races
- All native plants and native animals and their habitats are protected
- Water application effectiveness is maximised
- All irrigation systems meet industry and scheme standards
All Stage 1 Farm Environment Plans (FEP’s) were in place prior to farmer irrigating with Scheme water on 1 September 2015. Since that time CPW has completed an annual audit of farmer performance against the targets they set in their FEP’s. The results of the FEP Audits will be included in the Annual Sustainability Report, from 2017.
FEP implementation is underway for Sheffield Water Scheme and Stage 2 and will be in place prior to the Scheme supplying water i.e. October 2017 and 1 September 2018 respectively.
CPWL is committed to ensuring that all farmers have the support they require to achieve successful implementation of their Farm Environment Plan.