Water Wairarapa


Water Wairarapa is currently at a crucial stage in determining scheme feasibility with a lot of activity going on. View the indicative feasibility timeline here.

Talking with farmers

Understanding farmer interest in investing in irrigation and/or scheme ownership is a vital component of establishing scheme feasibility. We continue to talk one-on-one with farmers in the broad supply area to provide information, answer questions and hear farmers’ views on their interest in irrigation.

We are not asking farmers to sign up at this stage. At this point, we are looking for an indication of whether farmers want the option of purchasing irrigation water in the future.Ultimately, a critical mass of farmers and other users would need to commit to buying water for the scheme to become a reality.

An initial series of studies provide information to farmers on irrigated land use options. The case studies assessed financial viability, on-farm nutrient impacts, and the management and lifestyle implications of changing from current un-irrigated land uses.

Find out more here.

Talking with local Councils

Water Wairarapa is actively exploring ways in which the proposed scheme could help improve the overall management resilience, efficiency and reliability of the Ruamāhanga catchment's water resource. For example, could water be provided to help stop streams almost drying up in summer? Could it help solve toxic algae problems? Could it support the long-term supply of municipal water? These questions are being explored with local councils.

Financial modelling

An initial version of a financial model is being developed to understand how the main assumptions about commercial structure and investment impact scheme viability.

Drilling programme

Initial exploratory drilling was completed in May at two locations to further assess their viability as dam sites. The sites are at Black Creek, located in the Kaituna area west of Masterton, and Tividale in the Tauweru catchment northeast of Masterton. The drilling extracted core rock samples for geotechnical assessment, which found that both locations are suitable for further assessmenr of viability. The summary report with results of the drilling can be found here.

Testing water availability

Following on from spot gauging carried out in 2014/15 , real-time monitoring gauges have been set up in the rivers that would supply the stored water at times of high flows.

Data collected will increase understanding of the water availability, flow dynamics (high and low), and influences of tributaries and rain events in those catchment areas. The monitoring will also help determine the Tauweru River’s suitability for transporting water from the proposed Tividale reservoir to users in eastern and southern parts of Wairarapa.