19 Jul 2013

Farmer says Hawke's Bay water scheme would boost production

1:04 pm on 19 July 2013

A Central Hawke's Bay farmer says if the Ruataniwha water storage scheme is built it will change the nature of farming in the region for the better.

Farmers in the region attended a meeting on Monday evening to hear more about the proposed $600 million scheme, which will include a 90-metre high dam capable of storing 90 million cubic metres of water.

The project has government backing, but there is community concern about the cost to ratepayers and the potentially negative environmental impact.

Farmer George Williams says he's very positive about the dam because water is a valuable resource and the more that can be stored through dry summers, the better.

Mr Williams says he has put in an expression of interest in irrigating some of his property, which would allow him to produce crops other than peas and barley which he is growing at the moment.