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Another dam and pipeline?


Good point you make Conor, about cold running water. Indeed, as a metaphor it greets the ear as flying in the face of Seal's assertion, “But we're never gonna survive unless, we get a little . . . crazy.”

In terms of proactive play-making your thinking resonates with my own, most notably in the context of the February 25, 2018 hillside collapse that saw a natural damming of the Mangapoike River. Two metres of rain a year and explosives were subsequently used to blow it. “Blow it!” he says aghast . . . b-b-but when the restrictions come on we could sure use some of that mighty fine H2O down here.

I recall a letter about future-proofing our “elixir of life” reserves against yet another “unthinkable” event. Out-standing was the unimpressed tone at the priority we assign to “looking” good to the world outside over “being” good unto ourselves. Indeed Shakespeare (through Polonius) challenged the conventional wisdom, as did Adam Smith who railed against the love of praise. Men/women were always going to “rush to and fro”. Irrespective of the motivation, however, I have yet to see a letter buying in (or not) to the “gloomsday” stories unto total abdication? That's not us. We are Kiwis, we can already fly . . . how difficult can it be?

A little research reveals that there are three Mangapoike dams, the Clapcott Dam (concrete) as well as the H.C. Williams and the Sang Dams (both earth). These provide 65.6 percent of our water along with the Te Arai “Bush Catchment Area” (river) 34.4 percent.

Despite assurances, I see a question mark over the 1948-built Clapcott dam. (Remember Edgecumbe 2017). Also, there is only one pipeline into which the “big three” feed, ringing serious overdependency bells. For this “unimpressible” it is a no-brainer . . . as a leaping-off point, another “earth” dam and an alternative pipeline. Or is that so simple it must be crazy?

Mark Bird

  1. G R Webb says:

    Our capital works priorities have been directed towards further treatment of our municipal wastewater which already meets the standard under section 107 of the Resource Management Act 1991. The present cost impost (give or take a bit) is about $24 million. And in the scheme of further treatment that is just for starters. Meanwhile there is not a lot in the kitty for the bulk of the Olympic Pool repairs or the Waipaoa stopbanks.