Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Groundwater monitoring to start in lower Waitaki

Detailed groundwater monitoring to start in lower Waitaki valley

Meridian Energy is implementing a groundwater monitoring programme throughout the Waitaki valley, as part of its investigations for its proposed Project Aqua hydro-electric scheme.

“The monitoring programme will be implemented over the coming month or so,” says Project Aqua Engineering Manager Tony McCormick, “and is part of the ongoing and extensive investigations of groundwater conditions in the lower Waitaki valley.”

The monitoring programme will be based on test bores drilled as part of the Project Aqua geotechnical programme, test bores from previous hydro-electric investigations in the area, as well as many existing privately owned bores, wells and galleries.

The monitoring will cover areas where groundwater will potentially be affected by the construction and operation of Project Aqua. These areas, which are within a few kilometres of either the lower Waitaki River or the canal zone, are shown in detail in the Project Aqua AEE Appendix AF (Hydrogeological Assessment of Effects).

“Any landowners who are not already in contact with Meridian Energy and who are concerned about the effects of Project Aqua on groundwater, should contact the Project Aqua Kurow office,” says Tony McCormick. “It may be appropriate that they join the monitoring programme, if they are not already part of it.”

Areas near power-stations will experience the greatest groundwater effect, particularly during the construction phase, as a result of the pumping of water from the deep excavation pits required to build the power-stations. Groundwater near these pits may be drawn down by as much as 15 metres. This effect will reduce to a drawdown of around half a metre at a distance of 4km from some of the most affected power-station construction sites. The drawdown effects during the routine operation of the Project Aqua scheme would, however, be much less. The deep excavation pits will allow Meridian Energy to keep the height of the canals immediately upstream of power stations to a maximum of 20 metres. Although water would start only 20m above the ground, it would in effect fall about 10m below the ground, which would provide a net 30m of head at each power-station.

“Where drawdown effects as a result of Project Aqua cause a problem with water supplies for landowners or residents, Meridian Energy will provide appropriate mitigation,” says Tony McCormick. This could include deepening existing wells, providing water-pumps, or even delivering water.

“The monitoring programme will provide a base-line for groundwater conditions, and will provide an objective measurement of the effects the construction and operation of Project Aqua would have on groundwater in the lower Waitaki valley.”

The information from the ongoing monitoring programme will be fed into the computer model of lower Waitaki valley groundwater, which has been prepared by expert consultants acting for Meridian Energy. This model has been built up using information from the Waitaki River low-flow trials that Meridian Energy conducted in mid-2001, as well as information that has been available from most water bore and water users in the lower Waitaki valley.

The new information will further improve the quality of the model, and should enhance the accuracy of its predictions, says Tony McCormick.

For more information about the groundwater monitoring programme, please contact the Project Aqua Kurow office on 03 436-0920 (Pip Nicolson or Anna Greenslade) or call 0800 AQUA INFO (0800 278-246).

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Crowdsale And Crowdfunding Campaign: Help Create The Future Of Independent News

Two weeks to go! The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. We believe this ScoopPro media monetisation approach can be scaled and spread globally to support local and independent news efforts in regional New Zealand and around the world.

Scoop is an ecosystem, it would not exist without those who contribute to it, read it and rely on it for professional media purposes. Generous past support from this ecosystem has enabled us to come this far in developing our business model. Support our PledgeMe Campaign>>


14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>


Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>


Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>


Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>


Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>


Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>


"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>





InfoPages News Channels