Sub­mis­sions ‘key to truth over dam’

The Leader (Nelson) - - FRONT PAGE - PAUL MACLENNAN OPIN­ION:

The lat­est ‘‘Tas­man Dis­trict Coun­cil Newsline’’ ad­vises Coun­cil­lors and some high paid help will next week con­sider the 1515 Pub­lic Sub­mis­sions re­ceived on the fund­ing and gov­er­nance pro­pos­als on the Waimea Dam.

I am heart­ened sub­mis­sions from ratepay­ers and in­ter­ested pub­lic have ex­posed the myths, mis­in­for­ma­tion, er­rors and omis­sions in the un­der­ly­ing as­sump­tions and draft plans to date.

The pro­posed dam stor­age is five or six times the re­quired ca­pac­ity. I note this weeks an­nounce­ment that the Hunter Downs scheme is pro­ceed­ing at a sim­i­lar over­all cost to the TDC scheme but ir­ri­gat­ing 12,000 hectares with NO gen­eral ratepayer sub­sidy.

TDC’s own re­cent ad­mis­sion they have never priced the civil cost of the 87 Hectare Reser­voir and seal­ing of the lake bed to hold the 13.4 mil­lion cu­bic me­ters of wa­ter is ap­palling and makes the TDC claim $76.9 mil­lion at P95 a gross mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

Clear­ing 87 Hectares of steep, slop­ing, and frac­tured ter­rain will cost $30 mil­lion plus. Sim­ple maths tells us if the trees, bushes, shrubs, de­tri­tus, top­soil, and stumps ac­crue to one me­ter high over the whole site there will be around one mil­lion cu m to move away from the dam foot­print area to a stock­pile area where runoff can be man­aged un­til fi­nal dis­posal.

Once cleared all stump holes, soft ar­eas and frac­tures must be filled and com­pacted then the lake bed must be per­ma­nently sealed to avoid an un­der­ground river ap­pear­ing some­where it is not wanted.

Tonkin & Tay­lor ad­vise due to slope in­sta­bil­ity above the new lake no log­ging op­er­a­tions be al­lowed as logs and de­tri­tus will all end up in the lake. TDC have cho­sen not to pur­chase these slopes and will need to pur­chase cut­ting rights or the land it­self.

For the 2017 con­sul­ta­tion TDC state they will use trad­ing prof­its to re­pay dam loans - this ap­proach is in­tel­lec­tu­ally dis­hon­est and is a bla­tant sub­sidy from those who can least af­ford the costs to those who can most af­ford the costs and con­tra­dicts the 2014 Coun­cil as­sur­ances prof­its from trad­ing were ap­plied to re­duc­ing rates for all ratepay­ers.

There is no short­age of wa­ter. From WWAC news­let­ter no 17 we know that the mean an­nual vol­ume of wa­ter flow­ing from the Lee to the Waimea is 121 mil­lion Cu M pa (will fill the over­sized dam 9 times per year).

Wa­ter flow stud­ies show that 95 per cent of the wa­ter flow­ing over the Waimea East Weir reaches the Waimea es­tu­ary. We know that Waimea East Ir­ri­ga­tors Ir­ri­gate ap­prox. 1000 Ha per sum­mer the same as the Wai-Iti scheme from the 810,000 cu m Kainui Stor­age pond. We also know that the Waimea Aquifers hold 80 to 90 mil­lion cu m of stor­age.

TDC to date have not pro­duced science that proves any dam re­leased wa­ter in low flow will reach ei­ther the ir­ri­ga­tion or town sup­ply bores.

We do know the now re­moved weir near Mt Hes­ling­ton Road charged a mas­sive aquifer which ex­tended as far as the coastal high­way and when it was de­mol­ished by the catch­ment board in 1958 the wa­ter ta­ble in Ran­zau and Pugh Roads and the Coastal High­way dropped by two me­ters.

To plan a dam where 90 per cent of the wa­ter flows out to sea is a folly. Ratepay­ers have clearly told coun­cil­lors it should be user pays for the en­vi­ron­men­tal flow. It is not gen­eral ratepay­ers’ nor non in­ter­ested ratepay­ers’ re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­place wa­ter in a river when ir­ri­ga­tors take it out.

En­vi­ron­men­tal flow is gener- ally ac­cepted as a de­ci­sion point where all river in­flows each day must be al­lowed to flow down the river – stor­ing wa­ter to put it in the river when na­ture it­self can­not is patently stupid.

I un­der­stand if TDC were hon­est the true and full cost of the ef­fort to date is nearly five times the amount TDC cur­rently ad­mit to and worse they con­tinue to use bla­tant pro­pa­ganda to push their case.

On page 13 of the con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ment TDC claim Coun­cil Ur­ban sup­ply re­quires 23.5 per cent of dam ca­pac­ity and NCC ur­ban sup­ply re­quires 6.6 per cent.

This is a di­rect con­tra­dic­tion to the very ex­pen­sive MWH Stan­tec re­port which states TDC ur­ban us­age is cur­rently 3.37 per cent and NCC ur­ban ( Stoke & In­dus­trial) is cur­rently 0.65 per cent. Mean­ing 96 per cent of com­pleted dam ca­pac­ity would be for Ir­ri­ga­tors. TDC and WIL seem to go to great lengths to hide the real fig­ures from ratepay­ers.

The Early con­trac­tor en­gage­ment op­tion by TDC shows se­ri­ous lack of com­mer­cial nous, and invit­ing ten­ders for 40 per cent of sched­ule pric­ing is un­fath­omable. Why TDC did not en­gage an Engi­neer­ing firm ex­pe­ri­enced in wa­ter stor­age projects to pro­duce a ten­der sched­ule for the com­plete project is be­yond com­pre­hen­sion.?

MARTIN DE RUYTER/ STUFF

The up­per Lee River val­ley, the location of the pro­posed Waimea Com­mu­nity Dam.

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