Regional council enters talks to buy land for storage lakes
Wellington Regional Council has agreed to negotiate with AgResearch to buy more than 200 hectares of land near Te Marua for possible future storage lakes.
The council’s water supply, parks and reserves manager Mur- ray Kennedy told councillors that territorial authorities’ efforts to stop leaks and residents’ economies of water use had lessened demand for water to the extent that a new dam might not be needed for another two decades, if at all.
Instead, small increments of buffer storage capacity in the form of new lakes would be sufficient, and would also spread costs over a longer period of time, over more generations of ratepayers, Mr Kennedy said.
The existing Stuart Macaskill lakes have a combined capacity of 3200 million litres.
Council chairwoman Fran Wilde said buying the land would allow the option of building a single 5000 million litre lake at the western end as well as two smaller lakes, with a combined capacity of 3000 million litres, at the eastern end.
The smaller lakes would cost a total of $56 million and the single large lake would cost $ 120m including $30m to enlarge the Te Marua treatment plant.
Construction of the first of the smaller lakes was likely to need to begin about 2019 and would probably meet demand through to 2031.