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Waitaki National Cost Benefit Report Released

30 November 2004

Final Waitaki National Cost Benefit Report Released

The final national cost benefit analysis on proposals to take water from the Waitaki River was released by Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton today.

A draft of the report was released in June.

“Since then stakeholders have provided comments on the draft and this feedback has been incorporated into the final report. In addition, the possible costs of greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol are included in the final report.”

Mr Anderton said the report would provide useful information for the development of a water allocation plan for the Waitaki catchment.

“The report will be used to inform the development of the Waitaki Water Allocation Plan. It was prepared for that purpose and it will be up to the Waitaki Water Allocation Board to decide how it is used. Beyond that members of the public may use it as a basis for making submissions to the Board, either now or once the draft plan has been developed,” Jim Anderton said.

The report was prepared for the Ministry of Economic Development by Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM). As such it does not represent government policy or opinion.

Two water allocation issues were identified in the Waitaki River, Mr Anderton said.

“Upstream of the Waitaki dam any takes of water for irrigation will impact on energy generation. Downstream of the Waitaki dam there are estimated net benefits from both hydro generation and irrigation, particularly if they are integrated.

“SKM are unable to determine whether any additional allocations of water downstream of the Waitaki dam are justified on economic grounds alone as information on the economic impacts on the environment is not available.

"The final report has retained the Project Aqua proposal in its analysis because that proposal offered the best information available to assess the potential for canal based hydro generation in the lower Waitaki, Mr Anderton said.

ENDS

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