Dam could be key to wa­ter woes

Central Otago Mirror - - CON­VER­SA­TIONS - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

A Cen­tral Otago dam could solve the Manuherikia’s wa­ter woes.

About 30 peo­ple at­tended a public meet­ing hosted by the Otago Cham­ber of Com­merce on Thurs­day to dis­cuss the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil’s wa­ter plan changes. Peo­ple fired ques­tions at the ORC’s Fraser McRae - many of whom raised the idea of us­ing Falls Dam to pro­vide wa­ter for all users.

McRae said the coun­cil was im­ple­ment­ing wa­ter quan­tity plan changes across the re­gion, in­clud­ing the set­ting of min­i­mum flows.

Graye Shat­tky asked why ORC was pur­su­ing nat­u­ralised flows as the ba­sis for mea­sure­ment to set min­i­mum flows in the river, when the river was con­trolled.

‘‘Why aren’t we bas­ing sci­ence and po­ten­tial al­lo­ca­tions of that wa­ter on the flow as we see it com­ing from Falls Dam and its stor­age? The process is to do with the nat­u­ralised flow but I don’t see the rel­e­vance of that. Falls Dam was built with public money.’’

John Breen said the en­tire com­mu­nity had in­ter­ests in wa­ter and the only way to achieve har­mony and get re­sult was through the dam.

JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Re­tired Univer­sity of Otago pro­fes­sor John Knight.

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