A resource consent application by Trustpower for a new hydro power scheme on the West Coast’s Arnold River has been publicly notified by the West Coast Regional Council and Greymouth District Council. Details of the scheme are at http://www.arnoldpower.co.nz/. In summary, the scheme would divert up to 100 cumecs (2/3 average flow) from the Arnold mainstem near the existing dam, through a canal, returning the water approx. 12km downstream. This would dewater the usual run leaving a minimum residual flow of 12 cumecs.
“[Given] the disparity between the proposed residual flow regime and the number of occasions that minimum flows meet the kayakers’ requirements, it is likely that their activities will be affected as the flows will typically be too shallow to allow for current usage.” “As a consequence there will be a significant adverse effect requiring mitigation.” (p21-22, Appendix N (PDF, 3Mb)). Trustpower have proposed a ‘world-class kayak course’ as part of the plan, “but it’s not confirmed at this stage” (Press, 22 November 2006). Submissions close 19 January 2007.