27 Apr 2016

Ruataniwha dam 'doomed' - Greenpeace

7:46 am on 27 April 2016

Greenpeace has urged Hawke's Bay Regional Council to ditch its plans to build the Ruataniwha dam for the sake of the environment and the economy.

At its meeting today the regional council will find out whether enough farmers have signed up to take water from the dam to justify it going ahead.

Farmers in the Ruataniwha catchment area have until 18 April to commit to taking 45 million cubic metres of water.

The proposed Ruataniwha Dam would be built on this site in Hawke's Bay.

The proposed Ruataniwha Dam would be built on this site in Hawke's Bay. Photo: RNZ / Peter Fowler

However, previous cut-offs for farmer buy-in have come and gone without enough farmer support, and the deadline has simply been extended.

Greenpeace's agricultural campaigner Genevieve Toop said if the Ruataniwha dam went ahead both the environment and the economy would suffer.

"The Ruataniwha dam looks doomed, it makes no sense economically or environmentally," she said.

"This huge costly irrigation dam will industrialise our farms, increase massively the pollution going into our rivers, and hoover up hundreds of millions of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars."

The dam will cost nearly $1 billion and Ms Toop said the regional council should do the right thing and end the scheme.

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