Water rights are currently over-allocated in the Waimea Plains. The Waimea River can run dry over summer months and during these times, salt water from Tasman Bay can migrate through the aquifer and threaten the water supply. New provisions in the Tasman Resource Management Plan, which will apply if the Dam does not proceed, require a reduction in water allocations and stricter rules for urban supplies, including commercial and industrial users.
“[The council] has never publicly consulted or notified Tasman ratepayers of this liability,” said resident Kevin Walmsley, who lodged the LGOIMA request. “At $50m, the Council Compensation Events term is by far the largest liability for the dam, excluding overruns. Yet, the TDC only consulted on much lesser liabilities. Why hide it?”
The cost of the Waimea Dam has seen a sharp increase, thanks to “unforeseen geological conditions” to the tune of an extra $25 million, bringing the total cost of the project up to $129.4 million.