Irrigation Analysis and Design

Efficient irrigation has the ability to increase food production in areas that lack consistent rainfall, or which have regular low rainfall shortages.

Droughts are common events in New Zealand, particularly along the east coast of the country.

With more intensive farming, and intensification of horticulture, irrigation is a key component in increasing and maintaining production.


We have plenty of experience in the study, investigation, design and development of headworks for irrigation in New Zealand, the Pacific and South East Asia.

Services we typically offer include:

  • Concept and scoping studies

- Groundwater and surface water yields

- Conjunctive use assessment, for example water supply and hydroelectric generation
- Project definition and value engineering

- Headworks engineering - intakes, dams and canals
- Increased production potential
- Cost estimation and economic modelling

- Environmental scoping and assessments

  • Feasibility studies and design

-  Hydrological modelling for yield and security of supply
-  Flood hazard studies
-  Geotechnical investigations and assessments including seismic risk and liquefaction potential
-  Hydraulic and civil engineering design
-  Costing and programming
-  Contract documentation
-  Design review during construction

  • Consents

- Compliance with environmental legislation

- Resource and building consent applications

- Consultation with potentially affected parties
- Assessment of environmental effects
- Consent renewals

  • Construction management

- Site supervision and management
- Cost and timeline programming

- Commissioning

  • Scheme management

-  Preparation of operating, maintenance and surveillance manuals
-  Emergency action planning
-  Surveillance, monitoring and evaluation
-  Risk analysis
-  Safety reviews
-  Asset valuation
-  Instrumentation and calibration
-  Peer review and expert witness
-  Rehabilitation and upgrading 


The headworks (dams, intakes and canals) associated with irrigation schemes feature heavily in our experience. We have designed 17 large dams, along with many intakes and canals built for irrigation, hydro and water supply schemes.

Our recent project examples include:

  • The 50m-high Opuha multi-purpose dam built in South Canterbury.

  • Options studies and a full feasibility study for large multi-purpose schemes in mid-Canterbury.

  • Inspection, remedial works design and asset valuation of the 67km-long Rangitata Diversion Race carrying 30 m3/s. 

  • The Waingaro and Manuwai irrigation storage dams in North Auckland. 

  • Resource consents for the Mangakahia Irrigation Scheme in Northland.
Key Contacts

Tim Morris Tim Morris