Waimea Weekly Article

Waimea Irrigators Limited has been busy over the past few months, progressing activities relating to the Waimea Community Dam. This includes the preparation of a shareholder information document that will be circulated to irrigators over the next three weeks. The document was created to provide people with up to date information on the proposed dam project and to establish the level of support from water users, in order to proceed to the next stage.

Waimea Irrigators Limited’s project manager, Natasha Berkett, says the document also features a detachable survey for water users on the Waimea Plains and adjacent areas (including Mt Heslington, Redwood Valley and Lower Wai-iti) to complete. “The survey asks water users how many shares they would be prepared to purchase, based on the costings provided in the information document,” says Natasha.

“The document sets out what will happen if there is no dam and how security of water supply will be significantly enhanced, if the dam is constructed, for those water users with permits that are affiliated to the dam scheme.” Natasha also says that it’s important for people to understand the changes to the Tasman Resource Management Plan, which will come into effect in 2018/19. "The changes mean that water rationing is almost certain for everyone if the dam does not proceed.

“It is critical that firm support for at least 3000 hectares (shares) is received in response to this document for the dam project to proceed to the next step,” says Waimea Irrigators Limited chairman, Murray King. This support will be sought from both owners of lifestyle blocks as well as irrigators. “Waimea Irrigators Limited, and predecessors the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) and Waimea Community Dam Limited (WCDL) have worked hard over many years to develop a viable long term solution to water shortages in the Nelson-Tasman region,” says Murray. “It would be a tragedy if we didn’t commit to securing the world’s most precious resource for future generations.”

The shareholder information document will be circulated via a mixture of personal visits to larger water users, small group meetings and the post. Copies will also be available on Waimea Irrigators Limited’s website, which is currently being developed, or by contacting Natasha Berkett at natasha@waterforlife.nz.

The detachable surveys must be returned by the end of February.