Black Point.

This is the main (first) pump station from the Waitaki river that is on the Black Point Water Scheme.


A water scheme is a system that pumps water around a certain area of land for irrigating, drinking water and stock water etc. Because the rainfall in North Otago is 33mls to 90mls on average per year, the Black Point Irrigation Scheme was installed to help irrigate land where water is lacking. This scheme is normally running 24/7. In winter it can get quite damp and is normally being used just for stock water. However the scheme fully relies on electricity so if the power goes off the scheme does too. When this happens it takes two to three hours to get the system up and running again, as all the pumps shut down and need to be restarted in a set order.

Some quick facts on the Black Point Irrigation Scheme

This is a water runway into the Black Point Water Scheme.

  • 80km of pipe was used for the scheme.
  • The cost of the scheme was 66 million dollars (18 and a half million from farmers, 10 million from the Waitaki District Council and 37 million borrowed from the bank).
  • As an agreement with New Zealand Fish and Game, when they put the Ponding area in they had to make a wall of stones to stop smolt (little salmon) from getting into the water scheme while still letting the water through. Now they have added a pipe so that these little salmon are popped back out into the Waitaki River.
  • A 'PIG' is a machine that cleans inside the bigger pipes and checks for holes and errors (This is not a pig with four legs and a curly tail).
  • They started building this scheme in February 2005 and finished in February 2006, but heaps of prior planning, preparation and investigation did take place as far back as mid 1990's..
  • Black Point irrigates 10 thousand hectares over North Otago, as part of stage one of the scheme.
  • When they developed the scheme they laid larger pipes than they needed so that they could add to the scheme in later years.

© 2007 – Page created by: Laura, Tara and James