Originally, the river flowed southwest for 15 kilometres from the southern end of Lake Pukaki before joining with the Tekapo River and flowing into the northern end of Lake Benmore. However, all water from Lake Pukaki is now diverted into a canal which is fed through three hydroelectric stations before being returned directly into Lake Benmore, as part of the Waitaki Hydroelectric scheme. Occasionally, water may be spilled down the riverbed when Lake Pukaki reaches its maximum height, or if a canal or power station requires servicing.
- Tollan, Jeff (23 March 2011). "Lake Pukaki decision". Timaru Herald.
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