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This is a big claim, but at Water Strategies we back that up with the depth of our teams experience, and the results we have achieved.

Water Strategies is a ‘one stop shop’ for anyone wanting to develop a practical solution for land and water management. We’ve brought a range of specialist skills together under one roof, working collectively for the best solution for our clients and the environment.

We’re experienced, independent, and we can comfortably and competently work with you in every capacity – from getting dirty gumboots on the land, advising in the board-room to walking the talk with regulators and officials.

Water Strategies commenced operations in November 2018 and are now trusted advisers to a wide range of clients, from individual farmers to large corporates, and from local authorities to government departments.

Our team comprises four founding partners and key staff, all highly regarded land and water management specialists in their own field. Whether you need engineering and technology solutions, environmental management and compliance support, effluent and irrigation management advice and training, or assistance with project design, funding and management, we’re here to help you manage your business profitably and sustainably.

Meet the Team

Paul Reese

Principal - Farm systems

“I enjoy working with people. I put a lot of store on integrity, respectful relationships, and helping people find a solution to their needs. I use my knowledge of farm systems and technical skills to give sound advice.”

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Paul is a leading farm systems, environmental and irrigation consultant. His attention to detail, technical knowledge, industry experience, excellent communication skills and critical thinking applied to farm systems enables him to navigate through complex issues to provide practical solutions. Trust is a key word in Paul’s approach to his work with clients which he matches right alongside ‘integrity’. “To succeed we have to demonstrate integrity and earn trust. Everything else stems from that.”

Paul’s career spans a successful farming business, industry and technical project management for Irrigation New Zealand, delivery of practical training and environmental management at farm and irrigation scheme scale.

A high level of irrigation technical know-how, and understanding of on-farm systems encompassing production, environmental and financial skills enables Paul to provide comprehensive advice from a base of grass-roots practicality. He draws on a depth of knowledge at farm and regional scale across a multitude of issues, from nutrient and water management to on-farm infrastructure, planning and policy.

Paul has successfully facilitated catchment and farming groups, provided technical evidence for consent applications and hearings, and advised at management and governance level for irrigation schemes and farming entities on regional planning and other issues. Dealing with complex problems he is able to find practical consenting solutions.

Technical capability:

  • Pastoral farm production systems advic
  • Environmental management systems and audited self-management programs
  • FARMAX and OVERSEER modelling
  • Consent applications
  • Irrigation and effluent training and performance assessment

Andrew Curtis

Principal - Policy and projects

“I’m known for my skills in making the connection between policy and practice – farmers need to be enabled if we want to see effective change.”

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Andrew is passionate about water and finding ways for people to use it well. Skilled at working within Government and local authority policy circles, he thrives on helping clients connect that world to the practical water management solutions they need for their farm or business. He has a natural ability to enable the co-design of practical solutions for complex issues.
Andrew says the combined expertise of the Water Strategies Team offers the very best choice for any customer. “We’ve set ourselves up to be the go-to for anyone with a water management need or problem; integrating policy, engineering, farm production, environmental, and financials to provide the complete solution.”

With more than 20 years’ practical experience in water management and irrigation, Andrew has provided technical policy advice and leadership to central and regional government, irrigation schemes and individual irrigators. He has extensive networks within central and regional government.

At home in the complex and constantly changing world of water and irrigation – from policy to on-ground solutions – Andrew’s skills are diverse from advising the MPI Integrated Farm Planning project, through to trouble-shooting irrigation performance issues on farm. Andrew led the development of NZ irrigation standards and knowledge resources plus delivers practical irrigation training. He specialises in translating technical material into clear and concise practical information.

Technical capability:

  • Land and water policy development and implementation
  • Project design, funding applications, facilitation and technical support
  • Specialist understanding of Good Farming Practice and Integrated Farm Planning
  • Irrigation and effluent management training and support
  • Irrigation and effluent performance assessment

Brendon Jolly

Principal - Water engineering

“My ability to design water schemes from a technical and practical perspective is my ‘point of difference’ that client’s appreciate because they recognise the crossover of skills is a huge advantage for them.”

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Brendon is New Zealand’s leading independent irrigation designer. He has more than 25 years’ practical experience with small-to-medium scale community water supply schemes and both small and large farm developments; including open channel and piped supply systems, and drip-micro and broad-acre spray applications.

Water Strategies has become the ‘go-to’ consultancy for irrigation and other water management needs. Our skills combination is unique and means, no matter the client’s need, we can collectively produce the best results – from technical design to practical implementation, alongside ongoing management and trouble shooting.”
One of Brendon’s more recent projects was to design and manage the construction of the Bendrose Station 1.1 cumec take including; syphon, 14.5 km pipeline and 1,050 ha irrigation development. He also designed the 7,600 ha Ngai Tahu Farming Te Whenua Hou development.

Brendon specialises in complex hydraulic analysis and pump stations and is frequently called on to retrospectively trouble-shoot water distribution systems. He also has expertise in effluent, fish screens and small-to-medium scale water storage ponds. He also regularly provides technical design support for irrigation design companies, specialising in complex horticultural and broad-acre systems.

Technical capability:

  • Rural water supply, irrigation and stock water design and installation management
  • Complex hydraulic and pumping analysis and trouble-shooting
  • Farm survey and 3D modelling
  • Irrigation and effluent performance assessment
  • Technical support and evidence for design and installation disputes

Charlotte Butler

Managing consultant

“I deliver consistently high quality outcomes through applying streamlined systems and processes to the work we do, which is critical at Water Strategies as we deal with a diverse range of clients who have a variety of needs and so the solutions we provide have to often be customised in order to be fit for purpose.”

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Charlotte is an accomplished project manager who is deliberate and practical in her approach to the prioritisation of work streams. Drawing upon exemplary attention to detail, a flexible and transparent working style, and excellent communication skills, Charlotte delivers quality outcomes while building and maintaining successful partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders. “Building a strong relationship with our clients and getting to know them well is one of my strengths. From there I can use my wide range of knowledge to explore all options, achieving the very best outcome for each client’s particular needs.”

Charlotte has worked across project and programme management for more than 15 years, spanning operational delivery, tracking and monitoring progress, financials, reporting, and identifying potential risks impacting on the programme of work. With qualifications in Science and Economics, Charlotte has built industry-specific expertise, working across biosecurity, agriculture, horticulture, irrigation, and urban infrastructure development.

Technical capability:

  • Project design, funding applications, facilitation and technical support
  • Project and programme management
  • Training and qualification development and technical support
  • Irrigation management support
  • Irrigation performance assessment

Laura Bunning

Farm systems consultant

“My strength is relating to people and gaining their trust to provide practical, independent, up to date advice to farmers. I help future proof their businesses to make the most of what they’ve got.”

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Laura is a leading farm systems consultant known for her practical farm system knowledge, nutrient management skills and advanced use of FARMAX and OVERSEER modelling. She prides herself on the accessibility of her and the whole Water Strategies’ service; and seeks always to add value and make a real difference in client’s businesses and lives. “My clients are long term, so building a good relationship is crucial. I have to know them, their businesses and farm environment well so I can add the most value.”

Following her post graduate qualification in animal production, Laura worked for both Ballance Agri-nutrients and Ravensdown providing specialist nutrient management advice to clients. She places a strong emphasis on helping clients meet and go beyond ‘Good Management Practice’ expectations.

Laura has successfully supported many different farming enterprises with nutrient advice, including intensive cropping and dairy systems and extensive high-country sheep and beef. She is involved with facilitation on farm discussion groups, and working groups within the wider industry, which allows her to keep her knowledge practical and forward thinking.

Technical Capability:

  • CNMA certified independent nutrient management and fertiliser advisor
  • Silver Accredited FARMAX Dairy and Red Meat Consultant
  • Advanced OVERSEER user for both farm system advice and regulatory requirements
  • Experienced in delivering Integrated Farm Plans for all farm systems
  • Strong understanding of dairy, arable and red meat farm business and systems

Cindy Lowe

Irrigation management consultant

“I really like working with farmers and getting out on the field with them to find the best solution for their needs. I’m a technical geek, but very practical and hands-on, which farmers relate to.”

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Cindy is the leading independent expert in soil moisture monitoring in Canterbury. She has vast experience in installing and troubleshooting a wide range of soil moisture sensors, environmental monitoring sensors and telemetry systems; she can find the right solution for any scenario. “What I really enjoy about my role with Water Strategies is that it allows me to work closely with clients to create a partnership that gets the very best out of their water management and monitoring systems.”

Cindy is known for her attention to detail and ability to interpret and explain data to a range of clients. Her area of expertise is turning data into information that clients can understand and use to improve their farming operation. With qualifications in Environmental Management Cindy has more than 10 years’ experience installing, maintaining and providing advice on environmental monitoring equipment for clients throughout New Zealand.

Technical capability:

  • Planning for soil moisture, weather, water-level, effluent and water quality monitoring
  • Sensor and telemetry installation including on-going maintenance
  • Irrigation management support and training
  • Drone surveys and data processing for crop health, plant counts and farm maps
  • Sensor installation and maintenance procedures training