- Opuha Water Limited

150715 Lake Level Graph

Update on Lake Level 15 July 2015

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As at 15 July, the lake level has reached 55.7% (385.6m RL). The chart indicates that this is still below the historical average for July of 66% (387.1m RL) and below the level at the same time last year 76% (388.4m RL). However, the steady fill of the lake since reaching its minimum level in early March is encouraging.

Releases from the dam have been maintained at a minimum of 1.5 cumecs since March as every effort is made to increase the lake storage with a target of being close to 100% full by the end of September.

There is currently some snow on the hills behind the dam, and more than last year, however (at this stage) it does appear to be a significant amount that would provide some confidence of getting high spring inflows from snow melt.

140729 Old to New Structure

Merger Accomplished

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On July 1st 2014, the merger of the eight Opuha entities into one company was implemented. The key objectives of the merger were to create a simple structure whereby the irrigators all had a shareholding directly in the dam and a new water supply agreement that was appropriate for the new regulatory environment.

There were three separate irrigation companies in the previous structure – Totara Valley and Kakahu had both been developed since the construction of the Opuha Dam in 1998 and Levels Plain had been constructed in the 1930’s.  These three companies have now all been merged with Opuha Water Ltd that was previously contracted to operate and manage the three schemes.

The new Opuha Water Ltd has been set up as a co-operative company with a new constitution.  The merger will realise some cost savings – mainly through the consolidation and centralisation of administrative functions – and a new Board will be elected at the new company’s first AGM in November 2014.

Activity Round-up

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It was late November before we really got underway with irrigation but it ramped up quickly and by mid-December we were receiving orders for over 5 cumecs.

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Test to Show if Spill Tackled Didymo

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The company behind the Opuha Dam said yesterday’s release of water was an “interesting test”, but is not sure whether it has solved the build-up of didymo. Yesterday, it had planned to release up to 40 cumecs, about four times the Opihi River’s average flow, but Opuha Water chief executive Tony McCormick said it had only got up to 32 cumecs.

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Reminders

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Even though we have had good lake storage levels this season, we still endeavour to only release what is required for irrigation and environmental flows.

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