The Government of New Zealand has decided to build a water storage facility in Northland to address water scarcity in the region.
According to the Minister for Regional Economic Development, the construction works may begin this year. The plan involves building several small-scale reservoirs to create a distribution pipeline.
Earlier, the government awarded up to NZ$30m (S$25.7m) through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) for Far North, Mid-North and Kaipara to investigate potential water storage sites in the regions. Multiple sites in Kaikohe and Kaipara have been identified in the process.
Jones said: “An initial site near Kaikohe has been identified and, depending on post-Covid-19 timeframes, construction is expected to be underway there over next summer. Further sites will be explored as the project evolves.”
The building of the water storage facility is expected to help the region during droughts and support the local economy.
Jones added: “There is strong interest in this project from the wider primary sector, and belief that there is significant potential to grow high-value horticulture in the region if more water was available. In the Mid-North, there are clusters of existing landowners eager to advance water storage and distribution opportunities. Strong support has also been expressed by landowners in Kaipara.”
Notably, the government announced a NZ$12.7m ($7.79m) support in February to make Northland more resilient to extreme weather conditions.
It followed a NZ$18.5m (S$15.8m) funding from the PGF to Northland Regional Council to advance water storage projects.