Finding ways to improve quality and availability of domestic water supply in the area.

The Future of the Dovedale Water Scheme

TDC will hold a community meeting to discuss the future of the Dovedale Rural Water Scheme on 22 February.

All users of the water scheme will be invited directly by Council.

"The purpose of this community meeting is to provide early notice of the rural water treatment plant upgrade provisions in the Long Term Plan 2018-2028 (LTP) and to provide information on a range of possible upgrade options, cost estimates and the impact on water charges. [...] "

"The proposed 2018-2028 LTP includes funding for the Dovedale Valley scheme to be upgraded to the New Zealand Drinking Water Standard (NZDWS), which is a minimum requirement of the recommendations from the Havelock North Stage 2 Enquiry." (from the meeting description)


If you are on the Dovedale scheme, but have not yet received an email invitation yourself, contact us and we will help you to get your email address added to the list of Dovedale scheme users.

Given the history of and ongoing issues with the water scheme, this could well prove a very important meeting, so all users of the scheme should be sure to attend.

The Cost of Fixing a Water Reservoir

The Silcocks Reservoir which forms part of the Dovedale Rural Water Scheme was recently upgraded for a cost of $75,000.

Some association members and local residents have questioned how such a large sum can be required for work which is essentially the replacement of a large concrete water tank with four plastic water tanks.

Following up on these member requests we have inquired with TDC Utilities Manager Mike Schruer for more details on how this significant cost amount has arisen.

Read here what the $75,000 were spent on and some comments by Mike.

Read more...

Dovedale Rural Water Scheme Upgrades

Read the following article on Stuff.co.nz to learn about

  • a recent upgrade to one of the scheme reservoirs (Silcocks reservoir replacement)
  • notes on potential future upgrades to improve the quality of the water supplied by the scheme, which may impose significant cost on the scheme's users

Go to the article on Stuff.co.nz

We will continue to forward all information on the matter that we receive through any official channels.

Waimea Dam Public Consultation 16 Nov

Many thanks again to all who attended our public consultation meeting yesterday. The meeting was well attended and ran for two and a half hours. The Council presentation was followed by lively discussion.

Questions fielded by the meeting and answered by Council representatives King, McKenzie, and Drummond included issues such as:

  • financing details
  • the ongoing consultation process
  • earthquake risks
  • revenue to be gained from the dam
  • dam refill rates
  • perceived 'fairness' of benefits of the dam
  • the intended design life of the dam
  • hydro-electric power generation

...and many more.

TDC: The Way Forward for the Waimea Community Dam

From the TDC news feed:

The Tasman District Council has released the letter that provides the agreed way forward for the current community consultation on the Waimea Community Dam. Waimea Irrigators Ltd (WIL)and Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd (CIIL) as the co-signatories have agreed to the release.

The "Process Letter" sets out the undertakings that the three parties have made to each other.  While the letter does not commit the parties to achieve the milestones or to undertake the project, it does enable the partners, the Council and WIL to move forward with the project with the support of CIIL.

Council’s CEO Lindsay McKenzie said he was pleased that the letter had been released because it sets the scene for council’s current round of community consultation.

Read the full TDC article here.

To have your say, attend your local community consultation meeting on Thursday 16 November, 7 pm at the Moutere Hills Community Centre.

Public Meeting - TDC Consultation on Waimea Dam

Tasman District Council representatives will come to visit the Moutere for consultation on the proposed Waimea Community Dam.

The consultation will be focused on the benefits and costs of the project on ratepayers and water users throughout the District, and how the dam will be managed.

Join us at the Public Meeting on Thursday 16 November, 7 pm at the Moutere Hills Community Centre.

Have your say on the dam proposal - it is a huge project which will affect everybody in the district.

Thoughts on the Moutere Water Catchment

TDC Hydrologist Joseph Thomas recently made a presentation on water issues in the 200 km² Moutere Catchment at a recent meeting of the Mapua and District Community Association. Here is a summary of the scientific and technical aspects touched upon:

The Moutere is typically a dry catchment with 3 zones: Eastern, Western and Southern, which is
where Mapua sits. The entire catchment is full of Moutere Gravels of varying depths down to the granite base at about 200 m.

There are up to three levels of water which is very old and is recharged very slowly from the hills to the South. Council has tight rules for drilling bores but these were created originally for irrigation purposes (in dry seasons). The yield from these bores is low, typically around 5 cubic meters/hour.

Use has changed since to include household use with 365 day draw-down. Private bores are allowed without permit, are typically around 80 m deep and allow 5000 l/day. Council is worried that year-round draw-down could deplete the aquifer and allow salt water intrusion.

Read more...

TDC: Changes to Public Water Supply Bylaw 2016

Tasman District Council is proposing some changes to the Public Water Supply Bylaw in this update on the previous bylaw from 2009 which is now expiring.

While no effective change from provisions in the expiring bylaw, two areas where Council intend to apply and enforce bylaw requirements are a "minimum storage for customers connected to a restricted flow supply", and for customers to "comply with any water restrictions imposed because of drought, emergency, or other reason".

This will affect all users on schemes with restrictors such as the Dovedale Water Scheme.

Follow this link to read the full bylaw draft.

Submissions close at 4.00pm Wednesday 10 August 2016.

TDC: Reactions to Dam Consultation

A collection of links to further official TDC responses on the recent Waimea Dam consultation, with key quotes:

Affordability Issues Drive Council Rejection of Funding Models
"The issue of affordability is central to the Council’s decision to reject the funding models put forward in the recent consultation. [...] The proposal in the form consulted on is clearly not affordable nor supported if funded by ratepayers alone, as it proved earlier to be even less affordable if funded by water users alone."  [Full Item]

Equity and Fairness a Key Element in Council Response
"Council has taken heed of the very clear message delivered by submitters and will work to deliver new sources of funding in the future."  [Full Item]

Environmental Flow Costs to be Reassessed in Dam Funding
"Council has been asked reduce the ratepayer contribution in future budgets and modelling. [...] The contributor/exacerbator argument that many submitters raised has been accepted in principle." [Full Item]

Timing of Dam Consultation Process Questioned
"The recent consultation process [...] has been criticised for being rushed and premature and for a lack of information. Despite that, the number of submissions and the quality of many of them was outstanding." [Full Item]

TDC: Council Staff Advises on Dam Funding Models

From the TDC website:

Tasman District Council is being advised by staff at Thursday’s (11/12) meeting that neither of the funding options for the proposed Waimea Community Dam should be adopted.  The analysis of submissions shows that the proposal to fund the project entirely from rates is not affordable for the community nor for the Council.

“My advice to the Council is that the project shouldn’t proceed on the funding basis proposed.  I doubt that there is any way of allocating the cost of such a large project on to ratepayers or the direct beneficiaries in a way that is fair and affordable,”  said Council CEO Lindsay McKenzie.

“There is still a strong case for augmenting the supply of water available on and around the Waimea Plains,” says Mr McKenzie.  “For that reason I am also advising the Council to provide for a dam when it consults on the Long Term Plan 2015-25. My report covers the conditions on which a commitment to a dam could be made.”

The report recommends that submitters concerns about the method of funding the environmental flows be heeded, that further investigation into the best size for a dam be undertaken and external funding be actively sought.

See TDC news item.

TDC: Water Restrictions In Force In Parts Of The District

Water restrictions are kicking in for the Waimea Plains and areas such as Richmond, Mapua and Ruby Bay from 1 December.

Council notes the Waimea River has fallen to below the consultation trigger of 2,800 litres/sec and is currently running at 2,700 litres/sec and still dropping steadily. Aquifer levels across the district are much lower than last year and also trending downwards.

“The Waimea Plains have had less than 75 percent of normal rainfall for this time of the year and ground conditions are dry. The situation is better in other parts of the district but the Council will continue its monitoring and urges all rural and urban users to be conservative with their water use.”

Read full TDC news item

See current River Flow Measurements

Further links to Water Shortage Direction and General Water Saving Hints