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The dry start to summer and the introduction of rationing of water takes next week reinforces the need for the Waimea Community Dam, says Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith

“Our region is facing a serious water shortage. Rainfall in November was a third of the average. This is only the second time in my 25 plus years as a MP that stage 1 water restrictions have had to be introduced in early December.  We face a serious prospect of stage 2 and potentially stage 3 restrictions before the end of the month if rain does not come soon,” Dr Smith says.

“Nature is delivering a brutal blow to the Waimea Community Dam naysayers. They have consistently argued that the region does not have a water shortage problems. The cut in water takes by 20 per cent for hundreds of users next Monday and the watering restrictions of only allowing hand held watering in Richmond every second day is the practical proof that we need the Waimea Community Dam.

“The only reason Nelson households are not facing similar water restrictions to Tasman households is the foresight of the city council building the Maitai Dam in the 1980s. We have had communities like Napier, Havelock North and Westport in crisis in the last year and underinvesting in water infrastructure. Our community needs to learn from this experience and find the will to get on and build the Waimea Community Damn to provide more secure water supplies for the future.

“My hope remains that the rain comes soon, but if the dry November focuses our minds on our vulnerability to drought and helps get the Waimea Community Dam build, nature will have done us all a favour.”  

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