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Unless you’re in the farming sector, it can seem odd that one farm’s irrigation system is working at full tilt while the next valley over is dry as a chip. So, here’s a brief primer: individual farms, or groups of farms and/or irrigation companies that share a catchment area, have a resource consent to take a maximum amount of water to irrigate their particular catchment. Irrigation companies distribute this to shareholders based on the number of ‘wet’ shares farmers own. Because rivers/catchments each receive different amounts of rain (or snow melt) throughout the year, irrigation restrictions vary over time and from river/catchment to river. These restrictions vary daily and are available to the public here: