national shortage of aggregates. Right now, Hastings companies are trucking shingle from CHB to Napier to meet demand.
The shingle that settles in the top of the dam over time will be a valuable source of income.
Water sales from the dam through water bottling would take the pressure off the Heretaunga aquifer. It is quite possible that the sale of fresh clean water from the Makaroro dam could in time dwarf all other income from the dam.
This would require some people to accept that selling water is not a sin. Yet another challenge.
The Heretaunga plains is facing water shortage that will only get worse.
The dam could supply water to our northern neighbours by abstraction from the Tukituki near Havelock North, or by running a pipeline from O¯ tane to Pakipaki.
One hundred and 10 million cubic metres of water is way more than we need in CHB at present.
But 110 cu metres would easily be soaked up by ourselves and our neighbours combined.
Raising $80 million for the scheme is a daunting prospect but to put it in perspective, a coastal sheep station recently sold for $14 million.
Secure water supplies for our children and grandchildren is well worth the price of five and a quarter pastoral farms, even if they are all close to the beach.
■ The views expressed in this article are those of Tim Gilbertson and not necessarily those of the other directors of Water Holdings CHB.