Funding details of the revived Waimea Dam scheme near Nelson have been made public.
They involve 14 agricultural businesses agreeing to provide an extra $11.5 million to Waimea Irrigators Limited for the project.
The proposed dam would be 53m high and store 13 million cubic metres of water in a 70ha lake in the Lee Valley, inland from Richmond.
The dam would irrigate local orchards and market gardens, while increasing the security of urban water supplies.
It has been investigated since 2003 and is expected to cost $102m.
In August, Tasman District Council blocked the scheme after the projected cost rose by $26m. However, it revived the dam a week later, after developing alternative funding methods.
The council will fund its $11.5m share of the extra cost by rescheduling its loans.
Waimea Irrigators Limited chairperson Murray King said many of its investors were intergenerational farming families and they were all existing shareholders in the dam scheme.
"This project is so significant to the wellbeing of their businesses that they want to make sure that it goes ahead," Mr King said.
"These family businesses have been around for generations. They have invested in our communities, are committed to Tasman and Nelson, and want to stay here and flourish.
"They need water security and they've really stepped up enormously to see this project through."
Farmers using the water after the dam was built will pay an extra $50 a year.
Overall, Waimea Irrigators will provide $32.25m for the dam, with Tasman District Council paying $22.91m. Government agencies will provide $39m and $5m will be contributed by Nelson City Council.