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Plumbing depths: Carefully boxed samples of what's beneath the earth's
The area of land that the 77 metre high dam will cover will be 400 hectares
and affects six properties.
The estimated cost of the project is $180 million.
The geotechnical investigation will cost $600,000.
Full feasibility to 2012 will cost $4.8 million.
Timeline for the dam project: Full feasibility will be completed by July 2012.
Subject to viability, consents will be lodged. This could take up to one year.
At the same time the final design will be completed.
Construction period: planned for 2013-2016
How this is paid for? Funding initially has been from HBRC Investment
funds, the MAF Sustainable Farming Fund and the Irrigation Acceleration
Hydro power benefit of dam: An off-shoot benefit of the proposed dam is
the ability to generate power. Hansen says, ''While on a national level it's
not large, the hydro power potential is significant in that Hawke's Bay
doesn't currently have a lot of generation. This is valuable from an eastern
North Island perspective and is of value within the scheme.'' Recreational
benefit. At about three times the size of Lake Tutira, the dam may also have
some excellent recreational possibilities.
Responses to proposed
Ruataniwha water storage project
-- how do those living in the vicinity
of the dam feel?
Smedley Station and Cadet
Training Farm manager, Terry
Walters says, ''We need to be
mindful that it's in the very early
stages of planning; the geologists
are currently working flat out and
we are not sure if and when it will
get the OK to go ahead.'' He
thought water storage for the
whole district was a good thing but
said it would impact on them at
We are keen to see a mosaic of land-
uses. Storage water will be for
landowners within the Ruataniwha
Plains. We see a range of
opportunities around dairying, crop-
ping and mixed arable farming. We
are certainly not focusing on one
land use, Mr Hansen says.
Part of the feasibility work
includes developing groundwater
and nutrient models to assess the
effects on water quality, something
that is an issue in the Tukituki sys-
tem. The project is also determining
options to improve water quantity in
the river, particularly over summer
months. The aim of this would be
better water quality and quantity,
both for the environment and for rec-
Water security would mean
increased cropping potential and
would encourage processors to invest
in future developments. There's
already significant interest from
major players,'' Mr Hansen says.
The knock-on effects in terms of
the regional economy and the
national economy are significant. It
could be a significant transformation
for Hawke's Bay in terms of what we
are doing, what we produce and also
to local processors and industry.''
He added: We are thinking care-
fully about benefits for Hawke's Bay
for processing crops that also have a
process industry here, and being
owners of the port we are also keen
to see initiatives that support the
region. We are looking at the whole
cross section of potential benefits.''
The regional council is working
with a strategic leadership group
and an informed stakeholders group
to ensure wide community involve-
ment in the investigation and
options. Landowners and those
involved in the groups have been
informed of this latest decision to
further investigate the Makororo
The focus of the study includes
refining geotechnical information;
undertaking dam design, assessment
and costings; assessing environ-
mental effects and mitigation
options; and looking at financial
viability and economic benefits.
Council chief executive Andrew
Newman said that there is still a lot
of work to be done during this phase
of the feasibility study and that
council will continue to update the
community as the project progresses.
Climate change predictions for the
Eastern North Island, and specifi-
cally Hawke's Bay, are for a drying
climate in future, increasing pres-
sure on water resources.
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