Overview of dam

Objectives of the Waimea Community Dam

The Waimea Community Dam is a significant local infrastructure project to augment the supply of water and add to the sustainability of the region. Objectives of the Waimea Community Dam

  1. Sufficient water at our homes all year round
  2. Healthy Lee and Waimea Rivers with abundant fish and flora where we can swim and play
  3. A robust economy from the success of horticulture and farming industries
  4. Jobs for people in our primary industries and the support services working with them
  5. A better chance that families can maintain and grow their businesses for children and grandchildren
  6. Families staying and growing together in our community
Project phases

The project began in early March 2019 with site works to create access to the Lee Valley site. This was followed by the burying of a mauri stone, a mark of respect to Papa the earth mother and a blessing bestowed on the site and the structure that will be located there.

The second phase was the construction of the dam itself. The concrete-face rock fill dam is complete and is 53 metres-high, 220 metres-long, and 6-metres wide at the crest. About 490,000m3 of rock has been used to build the dam. The 165-metre-long spillway is complete.

The culvert was partially closed in mid-October 2022, so that the temporary river diversion pipework could be installed over the 2022/2023 summer. Commissioning of the temporary pipework was completed in autumn, and the culvert was closed on Friday 26 May with the reservoir now starting to fill.

The reservoir will fill up naturally over several months, with the final commissioning planned for spring. The reservoir will contain approximately 13 billion litres of water.

WWL is responsibly for constructing Nelson Tasman region’s newest dam. This includes:

  • resource consent compliance
  • land and access rights transfer and management
  • health and safety compliance and assurance
  • environmental compliance and assurance
  • optimisation of sustainability opportunities
  • community and stakeholder engagement
  • management of contracts required to complete the contracts, including construction, design assurance and cost assurance

The project is divided into a series of workstreams and the team structure is amended progressively to match the evolving requirements of the project through its lifecycle, and then as the dam is commissioned into ‘business as normal’ operation.

Click on the image below to enlarge.