Water pours in to aquifers

SHARE

More than 600,000 cubic metres of alpine water has been added to Mid Canterbury aquifers since mid June through a managed project.
The aquifers have been boosted through a pilot project aimed at improving the quantity and quality of water across the plains.
The Hinds/Hekeao managed aquifer recharge project is designed to replenish declining groundwater levels, restore flows in the coastal drains and improve water quality in the shallow aquifer.
Unused Ashburton District Council stock water from the Rangitata River is diverted to the site in the Lagmhor area, via the Rangitata
Diversion Race and the Valetta Irrigation Scheme. Natural sediment settles before the water enters a leaky pond and percolates into the aquifer.
Principal hydrologist Bob Bower, of Golder Associates, said since June 10, the trial site in the Valetta had been recharged by600,000 cubic metres of alpine sourced water.
‘‘The drains are the driest I’ve seen,’’ Mr Bower said.
Environment
Canterbury’s well data backed that up, he said.
‘‘This is a beacon of hope in a dire situation,’’ he said.
Mr Bower said there had been no clogging and the alpine water was continuing to flow into the aquifer at a steady rate.
A wide range of scientific information was being collected including groundwater and flow levels, rainfall, temperature, and wide range of water quality parameters including nitrates and E. coli bacteria.
Monitoring bores track both the increase in levels and the clean water plume as it moves out across the aquifer.
The Ashburton Water Management Zone Committee will be updated on the project at its October meeting when data will be available for 120 days of operation.