CIF Project - Lee Valley Community Water Augmentation Storage Dam

Grant No: 09/02

Last updated: August 2012

Contact details

Name of Applicant Group: Tasman District Council on behalf of the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC)
Contact person: Joseph Thomas
Address: Private Bag 4, Richmond 7050
Telephone: 03-5438 494
Email: joseph.thomas@tdc.govt.nz

Water for the Waimea Basin Newsletters:

Final Report

Project details

Status: In progress
CIF funding: $115,000
Total project funding: $230,000
Proposed start date: 2009-07
Proposed finish date: 2011-06
Region: Tasman
Related website links: http://www.tasman.govt.nz/index.php?WaterforWaimeaBasin

Project description

The Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) has progressed pre feasibility (04/05 06/07) and feasibility studies (07/09/10) into water storage options for the Waimea Basin. The pre feasibility evaluated the needs for water to meet acute shortfalls and future demand as well as options for storage. A catchment and area was identified as suitable for a water augmentation dam to be progressed to feasibility stage. The feasibility study has been underway and has confirmed a dam site in the Upper Lee catchment and the project is completing a range of environmental and economic assessments. This is due for completion by December 2009.

This Community Irrigation Fund supported project is to progress development of the detailed governance structure (i.e. based on the preferred governance structure identified in the pre-feasibility study), refine the financial model based on the detailed costing from the feasibility study and to use this information to develop a prospectus for farmer/water user investment. This prospectus is to be used for community consultation (i.e. including meetings, newsletters and survey) and to gain and gauge community support i.e. investment for progressing the project through the next stages, i.e. consenting, detailed design, construction and commissioning.

The issue/opportunity

The key issue is the critical shortage of water on the Waimea Plains with consequent low security of supply. The current technical "hold" of water allocation limits through the planning process with goodwill from all parties and with all parties agreeing to work to resolve the issue provides and opportunity to get a win - win scenario for all. The feasibility study has a confirmed and feasible dam site identified in the Upper Lee Catchment and the investigations shows a run of the river augmentation scheme is feasible. This scheme would provide opportunity to boost to the river flow and provide enhancement opportunities for the river ecology and recreational users as well as providing water to recharge the aquifers on the plains, increasing it security of supply, maintaining more environmental flows at the lower end of the Waimea River, reducing risk of seawater intrusion into the aquifers as well as future proofing water supply needs.

The context/background

The water augmentation storage dam proposed is in the Tasman District and is located in the Upper Lee Catchment. The scheme is to resolve the acute over-allocation of water on the Waimea Plains (exceeds 50%), provide sustainable environmental flows for instream and ecological values and to provide further water for allocation to irrigation and future community water supplies. Irrigator's use 85% of the allocated water on the Waimea Plains and have already suffered severe restriction on water use. A broad economic assessment in the pre-feasibility stage shows earnings from agriculture alone in the area to be about $32 million/year. Loss of agricultural production if a higher low flow is implemented for the lower Waimea River in a severe drought is estimated to be between $14 - $25 million/year or 45%-75% of average earnings.

The dam will be an in-river dam in the Upper Lee River with a design capacity of some 13 million cubic metres of water storage. Water distribution is via a run of the river scheme with water users abstracting water directly from the river or the adjacent connected aquifers on the Waimea Plains. Modelling of the river/aquifer interaction confirms this delivery scheme to be feasible. This method of delivery also saves significant cost in piping the water downstream. The current irrigated land is 3800 hectares with another 1500 hectares suitable for irrigation within the Waimea Plain and a further 550 hectares adjacent to the Plains. The Waimea Plains groundwater system which is mainly recharged from the river is the primary supply for the townships of Richmond and Brightwater and the rural community; in total some 20,000 people with a current demand of 420 hectares equivalent and a projected future demand (100 year) of a further 855 hectares equivalent. A water demand of 440 hectares equivalent is also projected for future regional water needs for the adjacent Nelson city area. Note: 1 hectares irrigated land equates to ~ demand of 50 m3/ha/day.

The project is important as the water storage dam will provide the means to overcoming water shortages on the Waimea Plains provide security of supply to irrigators and provide enhanced flows for environmental, iwi and community needs. A secure water supply is critical to the viability and economic prosperity of the area and region.

Methods

The WWAC would develop a prospectus with a proposed governance deed based on the preferred ownership structure that WWAC decided in the feasibility stage. The prospectus would also have the further refined financial model proposal for progressing the dam. This work is to be completed by March 2010. A request for proposal process to carry out the above work is to be completed with a contact awarded to carry the work out by end of October 2009.

An extensive consultation period on the prospectus for farmer/water user investment is to be undertaken between April - December 2010. This includes a survey for gauging support on the proposal.

Final reports including recommendation to the councils and community on the governance structure and funding are to be completed by March 2011.

Project Update:  February 2014

The last reporting period sought some variations due to decisions that the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) made which have been agreed with MPI. These variations were primarily to progress related work-streams to provide more certainty for the Lee Valley Water Augmentation Storage Dam project.

As reported previously Stage 3 design work is complete and work on Stage 4 (final design) is on hold pending progress on the regional plan change and consenting documentation. The recommendations on the regional plan change which was heard by independent commissioners in early November 2013 went to Council in February 2014 for adoption. The final plan decisions were publicly notified on 8th March 2014.The parts of the regional plan making provisions for the Lee Valley Water Augmentation Dam were adopted. This is an important aspect as the regional plan provisions now enable the dam development and consenting.

The consenting documentation work has progressed significantly and is almost complete now that the regional plan decisions are notified and there is certainty of the policy provisions. As part of progressing this work, meetings have been held with the consenting authority through the preparation work and prelodgement occurred in early April 2014 with final consent lodgement, anticipated to be before the end of April 2014. All the consenting work is being funded from WWAC’s own finances. WWAC’s proposal is to lodge the completed consent application and wait until submissions close. This would enable consideration of any matters that submissions may raise on the application prior to making a call on completing the detail design. This would enable accommodation of any potential design changes that could/may need to be accommodated for consenting certainty. The detailed design can then be completed and the project is then proposed to be tendered. The project having reached this stage of maturity offers more certainty for contractors to put realistic bids for the construction and any ancillary works.

WWAC has been engaged with the Regional Economic Development Agency (EDA) with a view to updating the Economic Impact Analysis that was previously completed by them in 2011. The RFP for this went out in March 2014 with the selection of the appropriate consultant to be made in early April 2014. This updated economic analysis would be of importance for the consultation on funding with the community and Council that is proposed to occur in the 2014/15 financial year.

WWAC is fully committed to completing the final design work and all the necessary tendering documentation and wishes to utilise the full CIF funding provision that has been approved. WWAC would complete any of the other works required via its own finances and with Council support. WWAC appreciates the complexity of this project and is committed to progressing the work to completion as it is a very important project for the future of this region. 


Project Update:  October 2012

This project is now complete with all documentation in relation to the milestones having been finalised. Goodman Tavendale Reid (GTR) was commissioned by the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) to provide the governance structure advice and produce documentation in relation to this. Considerable work went into reviewing and finalising the outputs from GTR in relation to the governance structure since the June 2012 CIF report.

As reported previously the current governance structure proposed and the funding regime is slightly different to that envisaged at the start of the project. Variations to the milestones and outputs have been sought previously and approved by CIF.  The final completed reports on this project  are (1) Prospectus of Waimea Community Dam Ltd (Draft); (2) Constitution of Waimea Community Dam Ltd (Draft)  and (3) Trust Deed of the Waimea Water Trust (Draft).

Considerable consultation was undertaken from late last year by the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) and Council as part of its Long Term Plan (LTP) Consultation. The ownership structure proposed for the storage dam was for a co-operative company with the funding regime implemented through a rating layer with the environmental component paid for by the whole district. 

The Tasman District Council has, as reported in the last report, retained the proposal for the storage dam in its final Long Term Plan but will refine the possible funding model and costs over the next 12-18 months in consultation with water users and WWAC. Nelson City Council's (NCC) LTP was delayed and hence WWAC was unable to report in June of their consideration of the project in their LTP. 

NCC has since responded and has indicated that it acknowledges the project as regionally significant. It is also wanting to have the details of the project further developed (i.e. final design etc.). NCC has in its response stated that it is keen to continue discussions with WWAC and TDC to develop the Lee Valley Dam proposal.

WWAC's other project i.e. the design of the Lee Valley Community Water Augmentation Storage Dam (CIF Grant number 10-09) is progressing with peer review of the Stage 3 design underway.
The outputs from this project will form the key basis for developing the scheme. The committee has taken a considered approach to progressing this project and is pleased to report its completion.


Project Update:  June 2012

This project has further progressed since the February 2012 report.  The Tasman District Council (TDC) is a key partner of the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) in progressing the Lee Valley Community Dam project.  The Lee Valley Community Dam is a significant project for the region and the TDC as a local body is required under the Local Government Act 2002 to consider WWAC's proposal and other options and consult with the community in coming to its decision on the governance structure. 

The TDC included the Lee Valley Dam proposal in its draft Long Term Plan (notified 24 February 2012 with submissions closing on 3 April 2012).  The proposal in the draft Long term Plan (LTP) was for a community owned co-operative company.  The proposed funding regime is through a rating layer with the environmental component part to be paid for by the whole district.  Over the submission period two special public consultation meetings were held by Council in relation to the project, one out on the Waimea Plains (on 16/03/2012) at Appleby and another at the TDC head office (on 21/03.2012) in Richmond.  WWAC members attended and provided information at these meetings.  These special meetings were held by Council to seek further feedback and provide information to the community on the proposal.  As previously reported in the last progress report the proposal and WWAC's presentation to landowners and water permit holders was mailed out over the last reporting period as was a further newsletter mailed out in March 2012. 

The TDC held hearings on submissions on its LTP between 23 April 2012 and 4 May 2012.  Matters raised through the submission process to council included affordability, mandatory nature of the rating layer, methods of splitting funding proposal, need for the dam, exclusions for particular properties, use of water conservation measures and support for the dam to address the overalloaction of water.  WWAC had submitted a written submission to Council on the project and presented an oral submission and answered queries on 27 April 2012.  The Council also had four days of workshops on the whole of its LTP before its decision making meeting on 24 May 2012 with the final decision on the LTP adopted on 27 June 2012. 

The Council has decided to retain the proposed dam in the final Long Term Plan but will refine the possible funding model and costs over the next 18 months in consultation with water users and WWAC.  The Nelson City Council (NCC) LTP process was delayed this year.  WWAC has submitted to the NCC LTP seeking the support of NCC for the project and also did its oral submission to NCC on 18 June 2012.  WWAC is waiting to hear the outcome of its submission from NCC.  The current governance structure proposed and the funding regime is slightly different to that envisaged at the start of the project. 

Consequently the prospectus that was initially indicated would be different and WWAC suggests it be called a "Draft Prospectus".  The rating layer funding method for landowners in the zone of effect would allocate shares at nominal value based on the hectares of land involved.  Goodman Tavendale Reid (GTR) who have been working on the governance structure for WWAC are now progressing work on completing  the "Draft Prospectus" and associated reports based on the current structure and funding regime proposed.  Considerable effort has already been put into consulting (zone meetings, newsletters and proposal mailouts) on the scheme and the governance structure.  The project has also gone though considerable consultation as part of the Council's LTPs, hence the committee believes the community survey/feedback component identified in the project proposal has been covered.

WWAC's other project i.e. the design of the Lee Valley Community Water Augmentation Storage Dam (CIF Grant number 10-09) is progressing with the advanced site specific investigations now completed and the detailed design of various aspects underway. 

There has been considerable community consultation work on this project over this and the previous reporting period both by WWAC and Council's as part of the LTP.  The committee has taken a considered approach to progressing this project and expects this CIF project will be completed by the end of first reporting period of the 2012/13 year.


Project Update:  February 2012

This project is beginning to progress again since the October 2011 report and the previous reported delays.

The Tasman District Council (TDC) is a key partner of the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) in progressing the Lee Valley Community Dam project. The Lee Valley Community Dam is a significant project for the region and the TDC as a local body is required under the Local Government Act 2002 to consider WWAC's proposal and other options and consult with the community in coming to its decision on the governance structure.

The TDC, having considered various options including that from Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC), has included the Lee Valley Dam proposal in its draft Long Term Plan (notified 24 February 2012 with submissions closing on 3rd April 2012).  The proposal in the draft Long term Plan (LTP) is for a community owned co-operative company. The proposed funding regime is through a rating layer with the environmental component part proposed to be paid for by the whole district. Funding of the wider regional benefit through the environmental flow is also to be sought from Nelson City and potentially Central Government.

Prior to the TDC's decision to include the governance and funding proposal for consultation through its LTP, WWAC ran six consultation meetings with water users and landowners between 12 – 15 December 2011. This was to inform and seek feedback from everyone on the proposal and also to encourage people to submit on the proposal in the council's LTP. The proposal and presentation was also mailed out to all landowners and water permit holders on the plains. Cost was one of the key issues raised by water users and landowners through these meetings.

WWAC also did a presentation on the proposal to Nelson City Council on 13 December 2011.  The TDC is now receiving submissions on its draft LTP and as part of this has included two drop in information sessions for the community on the proposed Lee Valley Dam. WWAC is now progressing the governance structure work based on the proposal as outlined in the TDC's draft LTP. This would involve updating and modifying the governance structure details that WWAC submitted to TDC in November 2010. WWAC is noting that this current structure proposed and the funding regime is slightly different to that envisaged at the start of the project.  As considerable information and effort has already been put into consulting (zone meetings, newsletters and proposal mailouts) on the scheme and currently the proposal is going through the submission process as part of the draft LTP consultation, the committee believes the community survey/feedback component identified in the project proposal has been covered.

WWAC's other project i.e. the design of the Lee Valley Community Water Augmentation Storage Dam (CIF Grant number 10-09) is progressing with the advanced site specific investigations virtually completed and various aspects of design underway.  The committee has taken a considered approach to progressing the project. The delays to date have been due to matters out of the control of the committee. The committee believes with Council consultation process underway now and updating of the governance structure work underway it is likely this CIF project will run into the end of the first reporting period of the 2012/13 year.


Project Update: October 2011

As previously reported in the June 2011 report the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) submitted its recommended governance structure to the Tasman District Council (TDC) in November 2010. The TDC is a key partner to WWAC in progressing the Lee Valley Community Dam project. The Lee Valley Community Dam is a significant project for the region and the TDC as a local body is required under the Local Government Act 2002 to consider WWAC's proposal and other options and consult with the community in coming to its decision on the governance structure. The TDC sought an independent options report and commissioned Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) to undertake this work. The report from PWC was due in late April 2011. However this report was delayed and a draft reported was completed for TDC in July 2011. This report has gone through a review process with feedback from WWAC and Council. A final report from PWC is now scheduled for December 2011. The final PWC report has still to be considered by the Tasman District Council as part of its options in decision making as it is currently working on its long term plan( LTP) for community consultation in the early part of the coming year. WWAC has continued to work closely with the Tasman District Council. A series of working group meetings from August involving key parties from WWAC and TDC has been further progressing the governance and funding opportunities and options work. WWAC is hoping to start some preliminary zone consultation meetings in December and hopes to progress the next steps of completing its governance structure report next year. The Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency (EDA) sees this project to be a significant one for the region. The EDA had commissioned an independent analysis of the cost benefits of the Lee Dam from a regional/national economic perspective. This independent report "Waimea Community Dam – Economic Impact Analysis" was completed and released in July 2011. WWAC's other project i.e. the design of the Lee Valley Community Water Augmentation Storage Dam (CIF Grant number 10-09) is progressing with the advanced site specific investigations underway. The committee has taken a considered approach to progressing the project. The delays due to various factors outlined above are out of the control of the committee at this point. The committee believes with the delays and the Council consultation process it is likely this CIF project will run into the end of the 2011/12 year.


Project Update: June 2011

The Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) submitted its recommended governance structure to the Tasman District Council (TDC) in November 2010. The TDC is a key partner to WWAC in progressing the Lee Valley Community Dam project. The Lee Valley Community Dam is a significant project for the region and the TDC as a local body is required under the Local Government Act 2002 to consider WWAC's proposal and other options and consult with the community in coming to its decision on the governance structure. The TDC has sought an independent options report and has commissioned Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) to undertake this work. The report from PWC was due in late April 2011. However this report has been delayed further. A draft is to be completed by July 2011. This PWC report has still to be considered by the Tasman District Council as part of its decision making. The WWAC is awaiting the direction and decision of Council prior to undertaking the next steps of completing its governance structure report for its community consultation. The committee in this period has completed a draft B shareholder Trust Deed for consultation with the environmental stakeholders. Goodman Tavendale Reid (GTR) developed this draft trust deed with input from both the Department of Conservation and Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game. The Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency (EDA) sees this project to be a significant one for the region. The EDA had commissioned an independent analysis of the cost benefits of the Lee Dam from a regional/national economic perspective. This independent report "Waimea Community Dam – Economic Impact Analysis" is nearing completion and is due to be released later in July 2011. WWAC's other project i.e. the design of the Lee Valley Community Water Augmentation Storage Dam (CIF Grant number 10-09) is progressing with site specific investigations underway. The committee has taken a considered approach to progressing the project. The delays due to various factors outlined above are out of the control of the committee at this point. The committee believes with the delays and the Council consultation process it is likely this CIF project will run into the end of the 2011/12 year.


Update: February 2011

Various streams of work have been progressing in the last reporting period. As reported in the October 2010 report, the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) has submitted its recommended governance structure to the Tasman District Council (TDC) in November 2010. The TDC is a key partner to WWAC in progressing the Lee Valley Community Dam project.

The Lee Valley Community Dam is a significant project for the region and the TDC as a local body is required under the Local Government Act 2002 to consider WWAC's proposal and other options and consult with the community in coming to its decision on the governance structure. The TDC has sought an independent options report and has commissioned Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) to undertake this work. The report from PWC is due in late April 2011.

The WWAC is awaiting the direction and decision of Council prior to undertaking the next steps of completing its governance structure report for its community consultation. One area the committee is progressing work is in developing a draft B shareholder Trust Deed for consultation with the environmental stakeholders. Goodman Tavendale Reid (GTR) are developing this trust deed with input from both the Department of Conservation and Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game. It is noted that WWAC has kept the local Regional Economic Development (EDA) agency briefed on the project.

The EDA sees the dam project of being high importance to the region. The EDA has also recently commissioned an independent analysis of the cost benefits of the Lee Dam from a regional/national economic perspective. WWAC would also like to report that it has been successful in its application to CIF to progress the design of the Lee Valley Community Water Augmentation Storage Dam (CIF Grant number 10-09) with ground investigation underway at the moment at the site. The committee has taken a considered approach to progressing the project and this has resulted in delays due to various factors outlined above. The committee believes with the delays and the Council consultation process it is likely this CIF project will run into the end of the 2011 calendar year.


Update: October 2010

The Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) has progressed various streams of work in the last period. The initial report on the governance structure of May 2010 has been further worked on and refined in discussions with WWAC by Goodman Tavendale Reid (GTR). Various drafts have been considered by the Committee over this period. A final structure proposal was confirmed by the Committee at its 14 October 2010 meeting. The drafted structure proposal was received by the Committee from GTR in early November 2010. As the Tasman District Council (TDC) is a key partner in the project considerable discussions have been had with TDC on the process of progressing the structure and consultation both with TDC and community.

The proposal on structure has been firstly submitted to TDC in early November 2010.  The committee in this period has also carried out further financial modeling work on the options for financing.  This financial modeling work needs to be reviewed independently prior to being used for consultation, and this is planned for in the next period. The Committee has also completed the peer review work on the feasibility design and costings work on the Lee Dam from the Stage 2 work completed in February 2010. The peer review on the feasibility and costings work was fully funded by WWAC and this was done to provide some certainty to the costing work prior undertaking further community consultation.  The committee is awaiting feedback from TDC and now plans preliminary community consultation in the latter part of the next reporting period as December/January is not the most suitable time due to the holiday period. The committee has taken a considered approach to progressing the project and this has resulted in delays due to various factors outlined above. The committee is still committed to progressing to completion this CIF project by the end of the 2010/2011 year.


Update: June 2010

The Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) sent out the RFP to three potential service providers for the governance project at the end of February 2010. The committee received three proposals by the due date of 19 March 2010. These proposals were evaluated by the committee with an interview held on 29 March 2010. All of the three service providers presented their proposals to the committee. The proposals were evaluated by the committee and the committee’s decision was notified to the three service providers on 31 March 2010. The final contract with the chosen service provider was signed on 23 April 2010.

The successful service provider was Goodman Tavendale Reid (GTR), a firm from Christchurch who have considerable experience in structuring water schemes in the South Island. Work has since progressed with a workshop held with the service provider on 8 May 2010 to progress the governance structuring work. Following this GTR has submitted a preliminary report to the committee on 25 May 2010. This report was tabled by GTR at the full WWAC Committee meeting of 31 May 2010. 

The committee is now carrying out further financial modelling work on the options for financing and also the peer review work on the feasibility design and costings work on the Lee Dam from the Stage 2 work completed in February 2010. The peer review on the feasibility and costings work is fully funded by WWAC and is to provide some certainty to the costing work prior to undertaking community consultation.  Both these streams of work are underway now and once outputs are available the committee expects to further progress the governance structuring work with GTR in August 2010.


Update: February 2010

The Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) has completed the water augmentation storage dam feasibility investigations up the Lee Valley (SFF project 07/140).  However, final reports from this study were not available until mid-February 2010. This has resulted in a slight delay in progressing this CIF funded project.

WWAC is requesting a further revised milestone as outlined in the milestone summary table. WWAC is pleased to report that the RFP for the governance project was completed and mailed out to 3 service providers on 26 February 2010. Proposals are due by 19 March 2010 with WWAC conducting interviews on the propositions on 29 March 2010. The contract for the work is to be then awarded after the evaluation of the proposals and interviews by the end of March 2010.

WWAC is confident that we can catch up on the project through the autumn and winter period of 2010.

For more information contact the Project Manager, Joseph Thomas on 03 543 8494 or email Joseph.Thomas@tasman.govt.nz. You can also view reports and progress on the project on the Tasman District Council website at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/index.php?WaterforWaimeaBasin


Update: October 2009

There has been minimal progress on this project due to the delay in completion of the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee's (WWAC)  water augmentation storage dam feasibility investigations up the Lee Valley (SFF project 07/140). Final reports from the investigations are important as supporting documentation in progressing this CIF project. WWAC is now requesting a revised timeline as outlined in the milestone summary table. WWAC would like to reiterate its commitment to this project and would like to note that most of the work in relation to the feasibility investigations is now just about complete with all reports at pre-final stage. All final feasibility study reports are due to be completed by mid December 2009. With the Christmas closure final presentations to councils and community are planned for late January through February 2010.

There has been minimal financial expenditure bar some investigations into service providers for carrying out this work. The CIF advance is held in the project's closed account at Tasman District Council. WWAC intends to scope and brief out the project with a RFP by early February 2010 and hopes to have a chosen service provider by late February/early March 2010. This delay has some consequent delays on the other milestones. However, WWAC intends to catch up with timing through the 2010 year.

For more information contact the Project Manager, Joseph Thomas on ph 03 543 8494 or email Joseph.Thomas@tasman.govt.nz. You can also view reports and progress on the project on the Tasman District Council website at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/index.php?WaterforWaimeaBasin.

 

Last Updated: 06 May 2014

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33