Paying for the Dam

Waimea Water
The partnership approach

To pay for, own and operate the Dam, Tasman District Council and Waimea Irrigators Ltd (WIL), which represents irrigators on the Plains, will form a partnership in the form of a Council-Controlled Organisation, or a CCO.

This partnering approach makes the cost of the dam more affordable for all the beneficiaries, while also providing an opportunity to secure external funding from other parties such as the Central Government.

Funding model

The funding model has irrigators responsible for a good portion of the dam’s construction costs, made possible by credit support from the Council for their borrowing from Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd (CIIL). The Council’s contribution addresses the urgent need to provide a secure urban water supply and the wider regional public good for the environmental, recreational, social and cultural benefits that come from the project.

Ongoing operating costs would be shared between WIL and the Council.


Compared with other options, the capital cost for the Waimea Community Dam is cheaper, in part because of the cost-sharing arrangement that leverages private sector investment (the only option that does so) and concessionary loan funding. The benefits of this funding model are that:

  • sharing the cost makes the dam more affordable for all beneficiaries
  • it provides security of water supply for existing productive land
  • it provides opportunities for more efficient use of land on the Plains
  • it reduces the need for restrictions except in severe droughts (a one in 60 year event)
  • it allows for urban and rural growth, and
  • protects and improves the river and its environs.
Final dam costs

You can find out more about the final project cost for the Waimea Community Dam in the latest Tasman District Council media releases.

The final price for the Dam

TDC: Final price – a setback and a challenge
Work on Waimea Community Dam funding continues