Securing Our Region's Future
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Water from the Lee River flows into the Wairoa / Waimea River system, recharging the groundwater aquifers that everyone living in urban areas and on the Waimea Plains relies on for their water supply. At periods of low-flow in the Waimea River, the Dam can release water into the river systems that perform the natural function of refreshing and resupplying groundwater aquifer levels. A higher minimum flow means improved river health, which benefits instream fish and other aquatic life, recreational pursuits, and environmental amenity values.
Access to water affects every person in Nelson Tasman. The Dam provides access to water for 100 years for residential, industrial and commercial needs across the region. The Dam will maintain groundwater aquifer levels during periods of drought, resulting in improved water security for water users in Richmond, Brightwater, Mapua and Wakefield (Wakefield currently has a sufficient supply of water for the next 30 years with the Wai-iti Dam at Kainui), as well as providing a third water source for Nelson residents.
The proposed dam is a concrete-face rock fill dam. It will be approximately 53m high, 220m long and 6m wide at the crest and will have a total reservoir storage volume of approximately 13.4 million cubic metres. The dam is designed to the highest safety standards applicable for dams in New Zealand. It is expected that it will take about 30 months to complete construction.
The Waimea Community Dam:
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