The Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme is a long-term sustainable water supply solution for Central Hawke’s Bay. It is part of a wider programme to better manage water resources in the Tukituki Catchment. The scheme consists of a 91 million m³ storage reservoir located in the upper Makaroro river, storing water during periods of high flow and over winter. Water from the scheme can then be released improving river flows in the Tukituki Catchment through summer for aquatic life and other river users, while at the same time providing secure water to irrigators. The scheme will be funded by both the public and private sector.
Hawke’s Bay’s agricultural advantage lies in its temperate climate, availability of productive land, and potentially abundant water supplies. However, the geography of the region is such that Hawke’s Bay is prone to drought, where the region experienced droughts over a four year consecutive period from 2006 to 2009 with significant negative economic impacts. Coupled with this, water is over-allocated with existing levels of consents unsustainable without negative environmental impacts, and consequently, future uncertainty for consent holders. No new consents have been granted since 2007.
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