New water safety campaign centres on irrigation runs

Children's safety around farm irrigation runs are the focus of a new water safety campaign in North Otago and Canterbury.

With more farmers trying to beat the heat with irrigation in North Otago and Canterbury, a safety campaign has been launched for those living and working near them. Source: 1 NEWS

As farmers increasingly make use of the features to combat drought, the Waitaki Irrigators Collective, along with Water Safe New Zealand, have created an animation to teach kids about the dangers of swimming in irrigation runs.

The water can move deceptively quickly in the canals, and feature dangerous siphons which can suck a person under the surface.

In the lower Waitaki scheme alone there are more about 200km of open irrigation races, and in some of the most dangerous parts they are already using strings of buoys as a last resort.

Seasonal workers and children are thought to be most at risk of taking a potentially-dangerous dip, and there has already been interest from overseas around using the animation.