Flicker of light for dam

NZ Grower - - Bernadine Guilleux -

Three men pas­sion­ate about solv­ing the area’s wa­ter short­age pur­chased the rights to the Ru­atani­wha Wa­ter Stor­age Scheme from the Hawke’s Bay Re­gional Coun­cil (HBRC) for $100,000 in July. One of these, Gavin Streeter, said they are ea­gerly await­ing the out­come of HBRC fur­ther anal­y­sis of the wa­ter sys­tem on the Ru­atani­wha Plains.

“We have pur­chased all of the con­sents and fea­si­bil­ity work,” he said.

“Ar­guably it is worth noth­ing un­til we see the state of the reser­voir.”

Once the science is known, the three in­vestors which also in­clude CHB farm­ers Hugh Ritchie and Tim Gil­bert­son, will make in­formed de­ci­sions based on facts. The three men per­son­ally funded the pur­chase of the con­sent through their com­pany Wa­ter Hold­ings CHB.

They said that CHB is short of wa­ter and Plan Change 6 is ratch­et­ing up the flows in the Tuk­i­tuki. With the dam stopped, Plan Change 6 should have been re­vis­ited, they be­lieve.

“For our dam com­pany there is a real chance to pro­vide a so­lu­tion. We are look­ing at a scaled­down ver­sion of the dam from its orig­i­nal 90 mil­lion cu­bic me­tres. With­out a land swap we could do 27-35-mil­lion cu­bic me­tres but we would be hope­ful of achiev­ing 50. Stor­ing wa­ter is a good idea, and it would en­able more ap­ples to be grown in CHB.”

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