Waimea Water pumped and ready for more action – WAIMEA WEEKLY

Published Wednesday 5 June 2019 With construction of the $104 million Waimea Community Dam in the Lee Valley now well underway, Waimea Water Ltd (WWL) now has their full complement of key staff in place with a specialist dam engineer recently relocating and joining the team.

WWL is a Council Controlled Organisation owned by the Tasman District Council and Waimea Irrigators Ltd.  It was formed late in 2018 to build, finance, own and operate the Waimea Community Dam safely, reliably and efficiently.

Mike Scott was appointed Chief Executive Officer in February 2019. He has a Master’s in Engineering post graduate degree from the University of Canterbury, and previously held the position of CEO for the $34 billion North West Shelf LNG project in Australia.

Scott has established a small team of qualified specialists focussing on design, construction, project management, environmental, sustainability, business and corporate matters.

The 53-metre-high and 220-metre-long concrete face rock filled dam, which will hold 13 million cubic metres of water, is designed to high standards under the New Zealand Dam Safety Guidelines. Scott says “The rock filled dam designed by Tonkin and Taylor is the right design for the geology of the Lee Valley and it has been peer reviewed by many experts.”

Specialist dam consulting engineers Damwatch Engineering Limited will provide independent review of the design and construction.

The dam is being constructed for WWL through a joint venture between experienced local companies Fulton Hogan and Taylors Contracting Ltd.  Work on building access roads and preparing the site for construction facilities has been progressing well over the last few months.

Excavation for the dam is expected to commence in July 2019 with completion expected in the last quarter of 2021 and the reservoir full in 2022.

This year’s drought in Tasman highlighted the need for a dam to store the region’s water, and Mike Scott, CEO WWL believes the community would have avoided the negative economic impact, like Nelson did, had we had the dam.

Good infrastructure, such as the Waimea Community Dam, will build resilience within our growing community and provide greater protection for our local economy.  Scott says “It will undoubtedly enhance our primary industries, which in turn will lead to more secondary and tertiary industries to provide jobs and attract our kids back from university and overseas.”

“Now living and working back in Richmond, it’s been really heartening to see the community’s support of the dam, with many people asking me whether it can be built any quicker!” says Scott.

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