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Ex Post Analysis of Irrigation Development for Future SIAs

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Irrigation development is an important way that rural communities can drive economic regeneration.

However, it also creates a complex set of positive and negative social impacts. Their assessment and management has implications for net social wellbeing over time. The social licence for large-scale irrigation development requires commitment to strategic and project-level Social Impact Assessment. The effective practice of Social Impact Assessments for irrigation, water planning and management is clearly assisted by the availability of comparative analysis after the end of the project. This research involved ex post analyses of initiatives for regional social and economic regeneration in the Canterbury region’s Waitaki catchment and Amuri basin of Aotearoa New Zealand. The research confirms that regeneration typically is a complex, incremental process involving multiple stakeholders over a lengthy period.

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