Thursday, February 29, 2024

Milestone Achieved - Waimea Community Dam and Te Kurawai o Pūhanga - Just About Ready to Go

 

RESERVOIR FULL JANUARY 2024. PHOTO CREDIT WAIMEA WATER LTD.

Milestone Achieved: Waimea Community Dam Nears Full Commissioning

Over two decades of meticulous planning and construction have led to a significant milestone for the Waimea Community Dam project in the Lee Valley, Tasman. A collaborative initiative between the Tasman District Council, Waimea Irrigators, and Nelson City, this groundbreaking effort aims to address the region's critical water security needs, boasting a reservoir with a staggering capacity of 13 million cubic meters of water.

2023

Waimea Water Ltd's CEO, Mike Scott, shared his thoughts on the project's journey in 2023, expressing confidence in its progress. Dismissing concerns about unresolved issues, Scott highlighted the active resolution of early-stage challenges in the testing and preparation phases.

In the winter of 2023, Scott affirmed that the dam's performance aligned with expectations. Plans were in motion for a staged filling process, intricately monitored with engineering precision and influenced by rainfall patterns. Despite prevailing dry conditions, Scott remained optimistic, banking on sufficient rainfall as a critical factor in meeting the dam commissioning goals. However, challenges arose with the El Niño summer conditions, characterised by potentially windy and dry spells, causing delays in the dam-filling process.

2024

Fast forward to January 21, 2024, and Te Kurawai o Pūhanga, the colossal reservoir, achieved full capacity—a monumental stride in securing the region's water future. Mike Scott extended gratitude to all involved, emphasising the collective effort leading to this critical juncture.


"Water flowing down the spillway into the river was a momentous milestone for the project, and Waimea Water Ltd. thanks all those involved in getting the project to this point.”

Now that Te Kurawai o Pūhanga is full, final engineering analysis and verification of dam performance has concluded, meaning the dam and spillway are effectively commissioned,” said Mike Scott.


With both the dam and spillway commissioned, the removal of temporary pipes and facilities, including those within the dam's culvert, marked a significant step toward connecting permanent pipework. The water that is released from the dam will run from the intake screens, filtering the reservoir water before passing through the new permanent pipework constructed through the culvert under the dam. This intricate work is part of 160 meters of new pipework designed to withstand a 1-in-1,000-year-flood.

Anticipating project completion and full commissioning soon, Scott emphasised the dam's pivotal role in managing water resources sustainably. Grateful for the community and shareholders' patience, he highlighted the positive impact on environmental protection and regional growth.


"The temporary pipes and facilities have now been removed to complete the final hook up of the permanent pipework. WWL (Waimea Water Ltd) still expects the project to be completed and commissioned in early March 2024, at which point water will be able to be released when requested," Mike Scott said.




Responding to queries, Scott clarified that independent engineers rigorously test the dam's permanent pipework and systems. Assuring the public about structural integrity, he reiterated that the dam is performing as expected, meeting stringent engineering standards.



"For commissioning, the dam’s permanent pipework and systems are tested and analysed by independent engineers. Once the performance of the systems are verified, then the dam will be fully commissioned and operational. The dam structure is performing as expected," Mike Scott said.



In a press release from Tasman District Council, Tasman Group Manager Community Infrastructure, Richard Kirby says


"There is light at the end of the tunnel regarding the Waimea Dam's ability to support water users. It is understood Waimea Water Ltd is on the verge of enabling one of three pipes currently being constructed at the foot of the dam, as opposed to relying on the spillway by the end of the week. This pipe will support a greater flow into, and increased levels in the Lee River than has been delivered in the last few weeks over the spillway.”



Richard Kirby expects other pipes will be enabled over the next few weeks.


"This does not mean the dam has been commissioned, affecting handover from the construction team, but it does mean urban and commercial water users downstream will begin to see the value brought to the area by the investment in the dam," Richard Kirby said.



As the Waimea Community Dam enters its final stages, it stands as a symbol of collaborative efforts, providing a robust solution for water security and sustainability in the Tasman region. The upcoming commissioning in early March 2024 heralds the realisation of a long-anticipated response to water challenges, laying the foundation for growth and resilience in the years ahead.



SPECIAL THANKS TO:  

Waimea Water Ltd's CEO, Mike Scott.


Tasman District Council, Tasman Group Manager Community Infrastructure, Richard Kirby.


Waimea Community Dam spillway. PHOTO CREDIT WAIMEA WATER LTD.


Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

Tasman Dry Weather Taskforce Update


 DWTF Update

Tuesday 27 February 2027



Tasman's Dry Weather Task Force met this week following the variable amounts of rain that have fallen across the district over the last weekend. By the middle of the week, after the rain, river levels have returned to, or in some instances, still dropped below previous levels.   

What rain we did get fell mainly in the upper ends of the river catchments with little falling on the valley floors and did little to help mitigate soil moisture deficits.  

Most of the District's rivers (except the Aorere) had minor rises but dropped just as quickly to levels seen over the previous week. 

With many of the trigger levels for further restrictions yet to be reached, the Dry Weather Task Force is keeping most of the current restrictions in place except for: 

  • Motuere Western Groundwater area moving to Stage 2,  
  • Wangapeka and Baton areas going to Stage 1, joining the other areas of the Upper Motueka catchment, and 
  • Wai-iti zones have been taken to Stage 1 to prolong storage in the dam, currently sitting just under 50%. 

Dry Weather Task Force Convenor Kim Drummond has reinforced his previous message to water users.  

He says to conserve where they can and to not to have the ‘use it or lose it’ approach to water use. We all have a part to play in wise water management.  

"In the meantime, it is important that consent holders are familiar with their Resource Consent conditions. Unfortunately, despite most consent holders committing to their restrictions, we have had to issue four fines to two users.  

Kim Drummond says the Council will continue to monitor water use with consent holders' support to ensure the greatest number of users can manage their needs in these challenging times. 

“Watering of lawns or decorative gardens is not permitted for any water user situated in water management zones where rationing is in effect.” 

He says the rainfall forecast does not look promising for the next week – any lifting of restrictions now may prompt a quicker drop in flows and levels, and a further week’s delay for restriction effects to make an impact. 

Please note, these restrictions do not apply to users of Council-managed reticulated water supplies, which are subject to alternative and different restrictions.     

For more information, go to
https://www.tasman.govt.nz/my-property/water/water-supply/current-water-restrictions/

Current and remaining water zone restrictions 

  • Tākaka – Water Management Area – FMU – remains at stage 1. (Subject to river flow and aquifer levels) 
  • Moutere/Dove/Powley Creek – remain at cease take. 
  • Moutere Eastern Groundwater – remains at stage 4. 
  • Moutere Western Groundwater – move to stage 2. 
  • Stanley Brook/Glenrae/Tadmor/Tapawera – remain at stage 1. 
  • Baton/Wangapeka – move to stage 1. 
  • Motupiko – remains at stage 2. 
  • Rainy – cease take as per consent condition. 
  • Waimea Unaffiliated – stay at stage 3 for A permits and stage 2 for B permits (Subject to Wairoa River flow) 
  • Waimea Affiliated – stay stage 2 for A permits and stage 1 for B permits - (Subject to Wairoa River Flow) 
  • Wai-iti Dam service & Wai-iti zone – move to stage 1 from Monday.

Tasman District Council, Communications.

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

THESE MAY BE YOUR THE LAST WATER RESTRICTIONS

WATER RESTRICTIONS

Heavier water restrictions imposed on Tasman urban areas 


27 February 2024

The smattering of rain we received over the weekend has done little to change the demand on the public water supply in Tasman District and there is little rain forecast. 


As a result, the areas affected by the revised water restriction levels for users of Council-managed urban reticulated supplies, will see some or no change to the restrictions imposed by the Tasman District Council this week. 


Effective immediately, residents in Richmond, Hope, Māpua/ Ruby Bay, will move to Phase E restrictions while users in Brightwater and Wakefield will remain on Phase A. 


In the rural schemes, the weather with a combination of water user behaviour, has enabled a variety of restrictions to be put in place; 

  • The 88 Valley scheme will remain on Phase C, 
  • Dovedale will remain on Phase D, and  
  • the Redwood schemes will move to Phase E. 

Nelson residents living adjacent to Champion Road, Wakatū Industrial Estate, and parts of Saxton Road West, where water is supplied from the Richmond Water Supply Scheme, will also face Phase E water restrictions. 


Commercial users and public institutions in Richmond, Hope, Waimea and  Māpua /Ruby Bay areas will be subject to Phase D restrictions which is effectively a 30% reduction in water used. 


Tasman Group Manager – Community Infrastructure Richard Kirby says the changes, in terms of the extent of restrictions, have been dictated by the need to keep within our consented takes and the efforts of water users.” 


"Our message to use water according to their area’s phase level is more important than ever - conserving water as much as possible will lower the demand and therefore reduce the severity of the restrictions we put in place in the future.” 


Richard Kirby says These restrictions remain due to the lack of meaningful rain in forecasts for the next few weeks, but there is light at the end of the tunnel regarding the Waimea Dam's ability to support water users. 


"It is understood Waimea Water Ltd is on the verge of enabling one of three pipes currently being constructed at the foot of the dam, as opposed to relying on the spillway by the end of the week. This pipe will support a greater flow into, and increased levels in the Lee River than has been delivered in the last few weeks over the spillway. 


Richard Kirby expects other pipes will be enabled over the next few weeks. 


“This does not mean the dam has been commissioned effecting handover from the construction team, but it does mean urban and commercial water users downstream will begin to see the value bought to the area by the investment in the dam.


Information around water tips can be found at www.tasman.govt.nz/my-property/water/water-saving-tips 


More information around water restrictions can be found at Current restrictions - reticulated | Tasman District Council


Phase A restrictions mean;  

  • watering of grass or lawns is not permitted.  
  • Watering decorative and productive gardens is permitted using a handheld hose with trigger nozzle or time limited water system.  
  • Filling a pool is prohibited, but pools can still be topped up.  

Under Phase C: 


YOU CAN: 

  • Wash your car using recycled grey water only. 
  • Do essential outdoor washing for safety reasons, using a bucket only. 
  • Water your flowers/trees/planters every second day only with a handheld hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, watering systems on a timer or a bucket. Watering listed protected trees is allowed using these methods. 
  • Water your veggie garden and fruit trees every second day only with a handheld hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, watering systems on a timer or a bucket. 

YOU CAN’T: 

  • Water the lawn. 
  • Fill or top up a pool, spa, or water feature. 
  • Use water for play. 

Under Phase D: 


YOU CAN: 

  • Wash your car using recycled grey water only. 
  • Do essential outdoor washing for safety reasons, using a bucket only. 
  • Water listed protected trees every second day only with a handheld hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, watering systems on a timer or a bucket. 
  • Water your veggie garden and fruit trees every second day only using a bucket only. 

YOU CAN’T: 

  • Water your flowers/trees/planters. 
  • Water the lawn. 
  • Fill or top up a pool, spa, or water feature. 
  • Use water for play. 

Phase E: 


YOU CAN:  

  • Only use water for drinking, sanitation, medical, health and safety, firefighting, and livestock purposes. YOU CAN’T: 
  • Water your flowers/trees/planters. 
  • Water your veggie garden. 
  • Do any outdoor washing (except for health and safety reasons or other emergency) 
  • Water the lawn. 
  • Fill or top up a pool, spa, or water feature. 
  • Use water for play.


Tasman District Council.


Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

 

TASMAN RUGBY UNION - NEWS

  STEVE MITCHELL APPOINTED AS CEO OF TASMAN RUGBY UNION Tasman Rugby Union is pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Mitchell as its n...