Horticulture NZ

NZ: Dams to combat country-wide water shortage

According to Horticulture NZ, the lack of rainwater around the country is posing a threat to New Zealand's domestic supply of fresh fruit and vegetables. Capturing and storing water should be a priority, to have adequate supplies in times of drought.

Horticulture NZ believe the best way to ensure adequate water supply is to store it in dams. The Waimea dam -near Nelson- in particular, is one they are firmly supporting. Horticulture NZ president Julian Raine says the district is on water restrictions 9 years out of 10. Farmers even have had to make choices as to which crops to save and which to let die. And certainly, fruit and vegetables prices could increase if demand is higher than supply and if the lack of water continues.

The only viable option seems to be to build a dam. "The total cost is $ 82 million... the cost of not having it is too much," said Raine. "Believe me, we've explored the alternatives and this is the cheapest option not only for irrigators but for the general ratepayers living on the Waimea plains." Newshub.co.nz reports how the push for the dam began in the early 2000s after the Waimea River ran dry in a drought.

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