Search for water hits the jackpot

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Hydraulic testing of a bore at the southwest corner of the Gore A&P Showgrounds, on council-owned land, has returned a maximum yield of 1080cu m of water a day.
That is about 25% of Gore’s average daily water use.
Gore District Council chief executive Steve Parry said the local body still had to apply to Environment Southland for a water take consent, but preliminary discussions had been favourable.
The lower Mataura aquifer that feeds the new water supply and other bores in the area is only 10% allocated.
“This is great news in terms of bringing extra capacity,” Mr Parry said.
While there could be some disruption while the bore was installed, “there will be no long-term effects at all”, he said.
Mr Parry acknowledged speculation that the bore was to provide water for Mataura Valley Milk’s new specialised nutrition plant, near Gore.
The council has a heads of agreement with MVM to sell it 700cu m of water a day.
“Given the estimated daily yield from the new bore and the potential for a second bore on this aquifer, we have enough water for MVM and will still be able to supplement our supply,” Mr Parry said.
Now the council had confirmation the water supply was sustainable and the quality acceptable, it would be lodging an application with Environment Southland for a resource consent to take 1080cu m a day, Mr Parry said.
The council would also need to get approval from iwi and would assess what impact, if any, the new bore might have on existing ones fed by the aquifer.
The council has agreed to supply MVM water from the bore if consent and approval are gained.
The council has also requested a further report on using the spare capacity at the showgrounds bore, and the prospect of developing another bore in this area, to supplement the town’s existing water supply.
MVM general manager Bernard May said the discovery of the new water source was great for the community, which included residents and businesses.
It gave MVM the confidence to commission the plant. While it had its own bores on site, it was important to secure a reliable source off site.
He said the new water source could give industry confidence to invest.
“I think it’s absolutely fantastic council has found water.”
Deputy Mayor Cliff Bolger said the council had been searching for a credible alternative water source for six years.
“Who would have known it was so close and so accessible,” he said.
The bore was located using a water diviner.
“Some people may laugh at us using a water diviner, but the result speaks for itself,” he said.
Showgrounds caretaker Bevin Roy said a pump house and fenced area would probably be built on the site, but that would not prohibit people from using the showgrounds.
“The footprint isn’t very big at all,” he said.