Today’s announcement from the Government that Tasman District Council has been granted $7 million from the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund is great news for the Waimea River, says Waimea Irrigator’s Limited Chairperson Murray King. The funding will go towards the construction of a dam that will be used to increase minimum flows in the Waimea River, resulting in a positive effect for adult trout, small trout, eels, torrentfish, koaro, upland bully and food producing habitat.
Money from the fund will also be used to support biodiversity restoration projects in the Waimea River catchment, including the margins of the Waimea Estuary. Waimea Estuary is the South Island's largest enclosed estuary. It is recognised as being internationally important for migratory birds including bar-tailed godwits, and nationally significant for various endangered or threatened birds.
Waimea Irrigators Limited supported the Council’s application for Freshwater Improvement Funding. “We all have a part to play in improving environmental outcomes for the Waimea River and the Waimea Estuary, and this funding will be a welcome contribution to the project” says Murray. “The Waimea Water Augmentation project has had a long gestation, and it is pleasing to see that significant work over many years, by multiple stakeholders, is being recognised by the Government”.