RDRML wants community feedback on a proposed new storage pond in the Mid Canterbury foothills that could hold 30,000,000 cubic metres (m3) of water. Klondyke Storage Pond would significantly improve security of water supply for irrigation, hydro and stockwater customers in the area.
Storing water could bring wider benefits to Ashburton District including the ability to boost local stream flows, managed aquifer recharge (enhanced groundwater supply), new habitat for flora and fauna and the possibility of recreational use.
RDRML has investigated water storage since 2011 and believes the time is right to progress the concept. Storing water at Klondyke would allow the company to manage the water resource more efficiently. Irrigation reliability for existing farmers will improve, further irrigation in the district may be possible and storage creates potential to supply water to farmers south of the river.
Klondyke Storage Pond would be developed across 240 hectares of farming land, adjacent to the Rangitata River near Ruapuna. The proposed site is 10km downstream of the canal intake on land RDRML mostly owns. The pond would largely be filled using water the company already has consent for from the Rangitata River, possibly supplemented by flood flows. While RDRML has researched a range of storage sizes, the preferred pond option at this stage is 30,000,000m3 of water.
- RDRML is talking to farmer groups as well as environmental, tangata whenua, public health and recreational interests about the Klondyke Storage Pond proposal
- A public meeting will be organised in autumn so the local community can view the plans up-close, meet the project team and ask questions
- RDRML will decide on the viability of the pond mid-year and, if the company chooses to proceed, a resource consent application will be lodged by the end of the year