Great interest in shares for Waimea dam

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Waimea landowners have expressed strong interest in purchasing shares for the funding and construction of the Waimea Community Dam.

The Waimea Irrigators Limited (WIL) shares will be used to fund the minimum $15 million required from landowners towards the 75 million total cost of the dam.

An economic report was released in November estimating the economic downside of not building the dam to be $700 million.

Expressions of interest have so far been received for more than 80 percent of the minimum number of shares required for the dam project to proceed, following a survey sent to Waimea Plains landowners in February.

However, WIL spokesperson John Palmer says they are not across the line yet.

“Although good progress has been made there is now real urgency to fill the gap to ensure that the project continues,” John says.

“We know a number of intending share purchasers have not yet completed their survey forms. It is now critical for those landowners to complete and return their survey forms immediately.”

John says those who are part of the share purchase scheme will be the only users guaranteed access to water during normal summers.

He urges all landowners on the Waimea Plains to seriously consider the implications of not being part of the share purchase scheme.

“If the dam proceeds, water permit holders without shares in WIL will have very limited water availability in most seasons and a likely significant land value discount for their property, including smaller lifestyle properties,”