Featured - Opuha Water Limited

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Notice of Annual General Meeting

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The Board of Directors hereby give notice that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Opuha Water Limited will be held on Tuesday 7th November 2017 at 3.30pm in the Pleasant Point Rugby Clubrooms, Pleasant Point.  (Refreshments from 3.00pm, followed by the AGM at 3.30pm)

For further information, and to download the formal notice of meeting and meeting agenda, please download the document below.

adobe-pdf-logo171011 FINAL Postal Pack – AGM Notice

A postal pack of all documents has been sent to shareholders – if you wish to obtain another copy of the Director Voting form, Proxy form and Shareholder Questionnaire form please contact the office by phone or by emailing office@opuha.co.nz

Director Elections
Directors nominations closed on 29th September 2017 and four nominees were received for the two vacancies.  Shareholders are encouraged to participate in the voting process.  Instructions for voting and how to return the voting paper are included on the form.  Closing date for return of the completed voting papers is 4.00pm on Wednesday 25th October 2017.

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Newsletter – September 2017

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Two weeks ago conditions were so wet everywhere I would have said “nobody’s even thinking about irrigation” but then we had a few days of nor’ west conditions that had us rethinking. Now, with the very wet conditions we’ve experienced over the week we’re not really expecting any water orders any time soon.

We’ve had quite an eventful period since June’s newsletter – both in the catchment, ‘behind the scenes’ (aka the OTOP Healthy Catchments Programme) and also organisationally.

In this newsletter we update on the hydrology and storage situation and what’s been happening around the catchment and the scheme; we’ve some changes at the Board table to advise you of as well as pending changes as I am departing our great little organisation; I’ll update on how we’re tracking commercially; there’s an AGM coming up with a few things associated with that and there is A LOT going on in the Healthy Catchments Programme (HCP) space. I cover off the key points of the HCP and Julia has prepared a separate comprehensive update for you which accompanies this newsletter.

To read this newsletter, please download the PDF version here:

adobe-pdf-logo170916 September newsletter

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Snow Storage as at 25/07/2017

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The graph above shows the estimated snow storage as at 25/07/2017.
There is more than average snow for this time of year. Following the recent storm, our gauges have indicated that Fox peak did not record nearly as much as Dobson, but the wind speed at Fox was very high, so most of the snow was probably traveling sideways.

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Newsletter – 19/06/2017

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It’s obviously all quiet on the irrigation front but there is still plenty of activity in our sphere of business – most especially to do with the Land & Water Regional Plan/Canterbury Water Management Strategy (LWRP/CWMS) which, in our Zone, is referred to as the Healthy Catchments Project. (HCP).
While we realise that some of you are directly involved in this process through your catchment group activities or may have attended the recent series of public meetings, we’ll provide an overview of the process and our view on that.
Nothing startling on the water storage situation (that’s good!) but we’ve got an update nonetheless.
Water metering is still on our agenda and we are expecting that everyone will be aware of the company’s policy requiring metering and telemetry for all takes over 5 l/s. By our reckoning, there are about 60 water users who don’t appear to have metering and telemetry information that we can access so we will be following up to ensure either you have plans in place or, alternatively that you would like us to manage the upgrade for you to ensure everyone has the right equipment installed for next season.

To read this newsletter, please download the PDF version here:
adobe-pdf-logo170616 June newsletter

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Artificial Fresh – 6th April 2017

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Due to high levels of phormidium in the Opuha Gorge, Opuha Water Ltd is planning on carry out an “artificial fresh” on the Opuha river. It is our aim to coincide the artificial fresh with the rain event which is forecast for later in the week, the high river flows generated by the rain would allow any algae to be taken out to sea. We will be aiming for a peak flow of around 60 cumecs in the Opuha River, so any public are advised to stay clear of the Opuha and Opihi Rivers and their banks from Thursday afternoon until midday Friday.

If you require any information in relation to the above, please contact Craig Moore (Operations & Asset Manager) on 027 460 9721.

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Newsletter – 18/03/2017

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Greeting to you all.  It seems, from our side of the ditch at least, that it has been a relatively good season for most of our shareholders with the weather providing good growing conditions and the lake storage levels remaining good enough to ensure a reliable irrigation supply when required.  We anticipate that for many of you, the very good rain in the middle of March may well signal the end of your irrigation for the season.

We’ve chosen to concentrate the majority of this newsletter to environmental management and in particular our activities under our own ‘Healthy Catchments Project’.

To read this newsletter, please download the PDF version here:
adobe-pdf-logo170318 March 2017 newsletter

adobe-pdf-logo20170307 Environmental Policy_FEP Audit Charging

Environment Canterbury is hosting two community meetings to share information about the effects of shallow groundwater takes on river flows (stream depletion) in the Opihi and Temuka catchments and Levels and Seadown Plains area.  The dates for these meetings are:

  • Monday 20th March (10am-11.30am) at the Geraldine Domain Pavilion
  • Wednesday 22nd March (6.30-8.00pm) at the Pleasant Point Rugby Club

Please download the flyer below for further information.

adobe-pdf-logoOTOP Stream depletion meetings advert March2017

 

 

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ATTENTION – Increased River Flow 13-15 March

Posted by | Events, Featured

After the weekends rain event, the flow in the Opihi River above the confluence has increased to a level where it will now be removing some of the phormidium and other algae from the river bed.

To ensure this is removed from the river and taken out to sea, Opuha Water Ltd will be increasing the flow in the Opuha River this evening, to match what would be naturally occurring.

The Opuha River flow will be increased to approximately 20 cumecs at 8pm on the 13th March, and will likely remain around this elevated flow for up to 12 hours.  River users are to be aware of higher than normal flows in the Opuha River and downstream of the confluence until Wednesday the 15th of March.  Warning signs have been placed at the main areas of river access, along with some down at the lagoon.  Farmers and known river users around the Skipton area will be contacted.

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Flushing Flow Release – Tuesday 28 February 2017

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FLUSHING FLOW RELEASE  – NOTICE OF INTERRUPTION TO IRRIGATION

Due to high levels of didymo in the Opuha Gorge and high levels of phormidium further down in the Opuha and Opihi Rivers, along with some operational imperatives, we have decided that a flushing flow release from the Downstream Weir is warranted. Our consent requires us to step up the river flow from 3.5 cumecs to 7.5 cumecs between February to March and we have found that this step change alone can create operational problems with didymo being scoured from the gorge and coming down the river and into our intakes over the following week.  We have found it better to precede the change in monthly flow regime with a concentrated flush to remove the nuisance didymo and algae from the river system altogether.

The plan at this stage is for the flush, which will start with a 70 cumec release, to begin on the afternoon of Tuesday the 28th of February. After the initial peak flow release, we will attempt to maintain elevated flows (30 cumecs down to 16 cumecs) for the next 8-10 hours. With a travel time of around 12 hours to Pleasant Point, this will mean that river flows will remain elevated right through Wednesday. The 70 cumec peak flow will attenuate significantly once it comes through Skipton and moves down the river.

As has been seen in previous flushes, the river will become significantly discoloured and bring some debris with it. Due to this we will be closing down the irrigation schemes  while the flush flow passes the intakes. The main reasons behind this is to prevent large quantities of silt entering the scheme races and due to certain consent conditions. Please find below the estimated timings of when each scheme will be shut down, and we will do our very best to minimise the disruption to irrigation.

Kakahu
Pipeline (Opuha River to Kakahu River) valve closed at midday.
Gate at Skipton Bridge closed around 1600hrs
River irrigators to cease irrigation by 1800hrs
Irrigators with takes in the Kakahu main race can continue to run until the race runs dry (approx. 2100hrs onwards)
We will work on having water in the Kakahu River and into the Main Race by 0600hrs on Wednesday the 1st March.

Totara Valley
Intake closed at 1800hrs
Irrigators can continue running until the race is out of water.
Intake re-opened at approx. 2200hrs on Tuesday 28th Feb.
In-river Intake to be assessed Wednesday morning to see if rebuild is required

Levels Plain
Intake closed 1900hrs on Tuesday 28th Feb.
Irrigators can continue until race runs dry.
Intake Re-opened 0700hrs on Wednesday the 1st March and all efforts will be made to get everyone started that day.

Please also note that the river flows will obviously be changing dramatically through this exercise and we would appreciate your assistance in ensuring recreational river users and those property owners adjacent to the river are aware of this. The critical period will be from 5pm Tuesday (high flow at Skipton Bridge) and for the following 18-24 hours.

I do apologise for the relatively short notice any inconvenience caused and all efforts will be made to ensure everyone is back up and running as fast as possible.

For any further information, please contact me directly.
Craig Moore, Operations Manager

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Lake Level – 09/02/2017

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The lake storage is currently in good shape at around 89% full which is 10% above average for February.
We expect it to be closer to average by the end of the month as irrigation demand is currently running at around 85%-95% at times and river flows are being augmented.
The lake is dropping around 0.7% per day.

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Newsletter – 20/12/2016

Posted by | Featured, Newsletters

What a difference 12 months can make? The common view around our farming region appears to be “it’s never looked better” and we are sitting on maximum storage in the lake as we approach Xmas. In 2014 we were at 41% storage and last year 66% and irrigating flat out. Current water orders equate to around 40% demand and that has only just kicked up after a quiet October and November (11% and 7% respectively). The commissioning of the upgrade to the downstream weir has had a significant impact on our lake storage regime with the additional confidence in maintaining the lake level at or above 100%.
In this newsletter I’ll update on our water storage with an optimistic outlook for the season ahead, and then provide updates on a number of current issues and initiatives including outcomes from our recent AGM, the downstream weir upgrade, our work programme around the Sub-Regional Plan process (ECan’s ‘Healthy Catchments Project’), water metering, water ordering, Board membership and staffing. There is also a notice and attached letter relating to use of private information.

NOTE: THIS NEWSLETTER HAS NO WATER RESTRICTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH IT!

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Lake Storage Allows Flushing Flow Release

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With high lake levels and the recent commissioning of the new spillway gates at the Downstream Weir, an opportunity was taken to carry out an environmental flushing flow on the Opuha River on the 3rd of November.

The new gates allowed for sustained flow twice that of what would have been achieved through the old setup.  The purpose of the environmental flushing flow is an attempt to replicate high natural flows which would occur in a rain event prior to a dam being built.

Through lowering the Dam’s main spillway gates in conjunction with running the Power Station, it provided enough flow to the Downstream Weir gates to produce an initial burst of 70 m3/s, followed by a 2 hour sustained flow of 50 m3/s.  As can be seen from the photos it had a significant impact on the river.

NIWA conducted a periphyton survey on the Opuha Gorge and at Skipton Bridge prior to the flush being carried out.  This survey is used to monitor didymo and other algal growth on certain sections of the river.  A second survey was carried out post the flushing flow showing excellent results, with the flush removing the majority of the didymo from the Opuha Gorge and Skipton Bridge.

Studying the effect these flows have environmentally, will allow OWL to better manage didymo and other algal growth in the Opuha and Opihi Rivers.

confluence-flush skipton-flush spillway-flush

 

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Flushing Flow Trial – 03 November 2016

Posted by | Events, Featured

NOTICE TO OPUHA & OPIHI USERS AND ADJACENT RESIDENTS

A Flushing Flow has been scheduled for Thursday 3rd November 2016.

Opuha Water Ltd (OWL) is planning to release flows of up to 60 cumecs from the Opuha Dam starting at 10.00am on Thursday 3rd November 2016.

The release will result in a rapid increase in the flow in the Opuha River and the Opihi River below Raincliff and the flow is likely to remain elevated above the present flows for approximately 20 hours.

During the period of the flow release, the flow and level in the river may change rapidly – especially in the Opuha River and the Opihi River immediately below Raincliff.  While the actual flow rates will not be more than might be expected following typical moderate seasonal rain periods, river users are advised to take care in and around the river from Thursday morning to early Friday because the rate of change will be higher than typically experienced.

For any issues or questions please do not hesitate to contact the Operations & Asset Manager – Craig Moore, Mobile 027 460 9721

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Notice of Annual General Meeting

Posted by | Events, Featured

To All Opuha Water Shareholders

The Annual General Meeting of Opuha Water Limited has been scheduled for TUESDAY 8th NOVEMBER 2016 at the Pleasant Point Golf Club, Butlers Road, Pleasant Point.  

Refreshments from 3.30pm, followed by the AGM at 4.00pm.

Please refer to the attached information pack which contains the following important documents:

  • Notice of Annual General Meeting to be held on 8th November 2016
  • A Proxy form for the Annual General Meeting
  • Minutes of Meeting of the Annual General Meeting held on 30th November 2015

A copy of the Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 2016 can be downloaded from this link – http://opuhawater.co.nz/company-information/annual-financial-reports

adobe-pdf-logoTo read this information pack, please download the PDF version here:
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Water Restrictions Update #1 – 29/09/2016

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To All Opuha Water Users 

Despite the very full lake (we are currently 103% full) there are still concerns about the overall conditions in the catchment – especially the low level of snow pack compared with normal conditions. Up until the light but widespread rain we have experienced over the last week, soil moisture conditions were also comparatively low. We have allowed the lake level to rise to its current very high level since we have completed the installation of the new spillway gates on the downstream weir.

We have met with the OEFRAG group and the consensus was that we are much better to take a conservative approach to the season and start with a low level of restriction in October in both the river and for irrigation use.

PLEASE PLAN YOUR WATER USE FOR OCTOBER ON THE BASIS THAT YOUR TOTAL USE WILL BE BELOW 75% ALLOCATION.

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Newsletter – 25/07/2016

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We’ve just passed mid-year and this newsletter provides an update on our water storage situation which has had a real shot-in-the-arm from the nor’ west rain into the top of the catchment earlier this month. We’re now looking for some decent snowfall to provide us with the reserve and confidence we need to start the next season.

The newsletter also contains some advice on meetings with various shareholder groups over the next few weeks, an update on the budget and water charges for this year and there are a number of water share parcels that are being put up for sale and lease.

Work on the upgrade of the Downstream Weir has continued to move along and there is a brief update on this project included.

adobe-pdf-logoTo read this newsletter, please download the PDF version here:
160725-july-2016-newsletter

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Environmental Management Update – 11/07/2016

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There has been a lot going on in the environmental arena recently – at a regional policy level, as well as a local scheme level. 

In this newsletter we would like to update you on these matters as they will impact you all – for some this impact will be immediate, for others it will be in the longer term.  It can sometimes be easy to ‘keep your head down and hope it blows over’ when it comes to environmental regulation, but the bottom-line is it will affect everyone.  We therefore encourage you to please read the newsletter carefully and consider what this means to your farming operation, and what your next move needs to be.

adobe-pdf-logoTo read this newsletter, please download the PDF version here:
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Lake level chart

Lake Level – July 2016

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The lake storage has been building slowly over the last seven weeks and has now reached our long term average for this time of year. Most of the early June snowfall has melted and this has contributed to the steady lake inflows despite the low rainfall over the period.

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Newsletter – 19/05/2016

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It has been a while since our last communication in mid-March when we were advising of the need for some interim restrictions to limit the lake drawdown.

Since that time we’ve seen a continuation of dry and warm conditions which have resulted in reduced lake inflows and calls from a few irrigators for some water to irrigate – very unusual to see those conditions in May!  As I write this, it looks like we might be in for a bit of a lashing over the weekend which I expect will make it feel more like autumn/winter.

In this newsletter, I will update on the conditions up at the lake as our irrigation season concludes and also introduce some very important water policies that have been signed off on by the Board.  Work has started up at the dam site on the upgrade of the Downstream Weir and there is an update on this project included.

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160519 Newsletter incl Water Policies

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Water Restrictions Notice #10 – 11/03/2016

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We have approval to reduce the river flows back from the prescribed March and April flows but we are also looking for some reductions in irrigation use with the 25% restriction.  We are going to operate this again on a volumetric basis over the remaining three weeks of March with rolling fortnightly reviews.

I realise this is at odds with the advice that I gave at the beginning of February when it did look like there was sufficient storage.  The inflows dropped dramatically around the whole catchment at the end of February and into March so that we are now releasing significantly more than anticipated to maintain flows and irrigation supplies.  The catchment inflows are now less than for the same period last year.

All irrigators are to please plan their water use to limit their takes to a 75% allocation for the three weeks to the end of March.

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160311 Water Restriction Notice 10

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Water Restrictions Notice #9 – 03/02/2016

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WATER RESTRICTIONS LIFTED

The rain events in January have had a significant (positive!) impact on the lake storage and we have now lifted all restrictions on irrigation and river flows.

Although we will continue to monitor conditions closely, we are reasonably confident that we will now be able to maintain full irrigation supply and river flows for the remainder of the season.  This is the first time since December 2014 that we have not been operating with some constraint on either irrigation supply or river flows – great news and a very surprising turnaround from our position at New Year.

We have included some additional important information in the attached notice, including an update on the appointment of a new Chairman for the Opuha Board that was decided on Tuesday.

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160204 Water Restriction Notice 9

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Water Restrictions Notice #8 – 21/01/2016

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Shareholders and Irrigators
The rain events we have had in January, but in particular the high rainfall on the 19th, had a very positive impact on the lake storage.  We are now very confident of our ability to be able to maintain continuous supply through to the end of the season but we are taking a precautionary approach at this stage as far as lifting restrictions altogether.

Irrigators should aniticpate resuming initially on a 75% allocation but can be confident that this is the highest level of restriction we should need to get through the season.  We will review this regularly with a view to easing restrictions as soon and as far as we can.

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160121 Water Restriction Notice 8

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Water Restrictions Notice #7 – 24/12/2015

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Shareholders and Irrigators
As we had signalled in our previous update, we have moved to a 50% restriction regime effective from 23rd December – we anticipate this regime may need to remain in place right through January.  

Despite the rain on the 16th and 17th which saw 20mm-30mm across the catchment, the drawdown on the lake is still significantly higher than last season as we would be quickly using up the buffer in lake storage we have been able to establish through the earlier restrictions and reduced river flows we have implemented this season.  The 50% restriction regime will be on a volumetric basis which seems to be providing better flexibility to many of our irrigators.

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151224 Water Restriction Notice 7

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Water Restrictions from 23/12/2015

Posted by | Featured, Newsletters

Shareholders and Irrigators

At the last update we advised that we were anticipating the need to move to a 50% regime from 23rd December.  This note is to confirm that we will be implementing this new restriction and we would expect all users below the dam to be on a 50% regime by 6pm on Wednesday 23rd December 2015.  The rain last week provided some reprieve – both to farmers and to the lake – but inflows are still around 20% below last December and water use is higher so we are using the lake storage at a greater rate than last season.

Attached is a summary report which has been prepared for tomorrow’s OEFRAG meeting – for your information.

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