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NZ acquifier recharge could boost regional horticulture by $27m

More kiwifruit and other high-value crops could cover the Poverty Bay Flats if a recharge of the Makauri aquifer proves successful, bringing in a bounty for the horticulture and fruit-growing sectors.

Economic modelling suggests a 30 percent increase in irrigated land would boost the sector by 122 percent ($27 million) and provide 77 percent more jobs.

This would mean a $61m increase in value to the Gisborne economy and 959 extra jobs.

Conversely, if the aquifer recharge fails and water use is cut by 60 percent, it would slash the sector by $7m, dropping $29m from the Gisborne economy and costing 434 jobs.

The Managed Aquifer Recharge Economic Study will be presented to Gisborne District Council on Thursday.

Read more at gisborneherald.co.nz

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