The Clutha River, where an intake pumping station is
proposed to supply the Tarras Water scheme. Photo ODT
Promoting better certainty of supply and use of the
Clutha and Lindis Rivers' water resources are two reasons the
Otago Regional Council is considering investing in the Tarras
At a recent meeting, the council decided to put out for
community consultation Tarras Water Ltd's proposal for it to
invest $3.5 million plus fixed costs in the irrigation
Cr Michael Deaker called for the council to put information,
"not a sales pitch, but the rationale" out to the public with
the long-term plan amendment to invest in the scheme.
A 23-page glossy brochure outlining the proposal has gone out
to all those on the annual and long-term plan mailing list,
its office and service centres, and details are available on
the council's website.
A sheet inserted into the document explains how Tarras Water
has consent to take water from the Clutha to provide a more
"reliable and extensive" water supply to the Tarras district
and also reduce water takes from the Lindis River.
Four reasons for the council's decision to put the proposal
out to the community are outlined in the brochure.
One reason is any farmer co-operative irrigation scheme would
"invariably" have some farmers unwilling or unable to join
the scheme at its inception, but demand for water on those
properties might exist in the future, which would be met by
the scheme and provide more certainty of supply.
"The Lindis irrigation scheme has its limitations. The nature
of the old engineering works and the scheme's lack of
efficiency and reliability mean the future of this scheme is
Another reason is the scheme would promote better use of the
water resources of the Clutha and Lindis Rivers, "in line
with the intentions of the Otago Water Plan".
"A better integration of the water resource will assist
better resource management of the currently over-allocated
Also, the increase in the availability of water would promote
an increase in primary production, the brochure says.
It also includes a risk assessment detailing what would
happen if no-one wanted the shares the council held, and the
conditions the council will require Tarras Water Ltd to meet
before it invests, including the right to have a director on
Members of the public have until December 10 to make