The answer to water quality, quantity and allocation is water storage, Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott says.

And while Hawke's Bay waits to learn if the Ruataniwha dam will go ahead, Mr Scott told the Dannevirke News this project and a proposed water storage scheme in the Wairarapa need to go ahead.

"The environmental and social benefits of water storage are obvious. Maybe dairying, with the payout at around $4kg, [of milk solids] there may not be a big buy-in from dairy farmers but for other land use, such as seed growing, horticulture and viticulture, it makes sense."

Mr Scott who has an interest in a Wairarapa vineyard, said water allocation from stored water for hydroponics and strawberries would provide a valuable return per litre of water.


"The demand for water continues to increase, yet the supply is fixed, so it's time we accept the fact as fresh water becomes more and more valuable, it comes at a cost. This means we need tostart investing in water before it runs out.

"In the Wairarapa electorate we have two irrigation projects on the table, the Ruataniwha dam and the Wairarapa Use project.

It is essential we invest in this infrastructure to improve the quality of rivers and ensure future supply. Itisalso important for our economy.

"The Canterbury water schemes have proven to be the catalyst for growth in towns like Ashburton.

"Increased productivity of the land allows for higher GDP in the local economy. Towns grow as jobs and wealth are created."

Tararua District mayor Roly Ellis said he can see spin-offs for our district if the Ruataniwha dam goes ahead and Mr Scott agrees.

"Certainly during construction there would be benefits," he said.