Waimea Water

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Waimea Water is a Council-Controlled Organisation established in November 2018 to manage the construction, operation and maintenance of the Waimea Community Dam.  The dam is a significant infrastructure project for the region and is set to secure the water supply for Nelson Tasman for the next 100+ years.

Waimea Water represents the shared interests of Tasman District Council (majority shareholder) and Waimea Irrigators Ltd to oversee and manage the Waimea Community Dam’s development, construction and operation.


Community supporters

“Council’s partnership approach has made the dam the most cost-effective solution to the region’s water shortage. It allows us to solve four issues with one, cost-effective, solution – urban and commercial water shortage, river health, meeting the social and recreation needs of the community and preventing salt intrusion into our drinking water supply.”
— Former Tasman District Council Mayor Richard Kempthorne (TDC media release)
“We see this project as essential to secure the future prosperity and sustainability of our fantastic and vibrant region.”
— Waimea Nurseries Director Bruno Simpson (Stuff.co.nz)
“I think the Waimea Community Dam is a no-brainer. We collectively, as a community, need to do all we can to get it over the line… It is inconsistent with Nelson’s strong environmental brand that water quality gets so bad in summer that it can kill dogs. The only practical solution is the Waimea Community Dam that will store water during high floods and replenish the river during summer.”
— Former Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith (Stuff.co.nz)
"The current proposal to build an augmentation dam in the Lee Valley is the means to meet several important needs – to recharge aquifers (the region’s natural, low cost storage system) and thus improve security of rural/irrigation and urban supply – while at the same time maintaining the ecological health of the delivery system (Waimea River). From a scientific and economic perspective, there is good evidence supporting an ‘aquifer recharge’ solution to meet community needs. It sustains the health of a large aquifer system, needs no piping to do so, maintains river health in the process of delivering the water and continues to use all the wells and current extraction systems."
— Dr Morgan Williams, former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
“Seventeen years of investigation, research, collaboration between TDC, NCC, Iwi, Fish & Game, DOC, landowners and Council staff have brought us to this point. We need to be careful that we don’t let the loud minority sway the not so well-informed majority. We need reality not rhetoric, facts not fallacy, vision not self-interest. I will happily put my name with those who have promoted the dam because in the future the community will thank us for it!”
— Retired Waimea Plains Farmer Ken Polglase (link to Ken's story in Mudcakes and Roses)

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