The bulk water supply infrastructure consistently delivers high-quality drinking water to the four city councils (Porirua, Hutt City, Upper Hutt and Wellington city).
We all know a safe and resilient water supply is essential to our health and wellbeing. It’s also crucial for our region’s economic prosperity. High-quality drinking water protects the community from water-borne illnesses, while a consistent supply supports residential and commercial development and the local economy.
Our current infrastructure has served us well for many years, the challenge is ensuring it keeps pace with changing expectations and is fit for the future. Some significant assets are nearing the end of their economic lives. We need to determine the most cost-effective time to replace them, without compromising the performance of the water supply network.
We also need to improve resilience. Older parts of our infrastructure are less able to withstand shocks and there’s limited redundancy in the bulk water network and limited local
water storage.We’re working with Wellington Water and the other councils to ensure that after a major earthquake (or other event) people will have access to clean, drinkable water as quickly as possible.
Following the Havelock North water contamination incident and detection of bacteria in the Waiwhetu aquifer, we reviewed our water treatment processes and made changes to how we treat water extracted from the Waiwhetu aquifer. We’ll continue to review and enhance our treatment processes to ensure we maintain a water supply that is safe to drink.
In the longer term, changing rainfall patterns, increased drought and rising sea levels are expected to put pressure on the water supply. Meanwhile, population growth will increase demand for drinking water. In planning to manage demand, we are working with Wellington Water and considering capital works alongside non-asset solutions, such as water conservation education and water metering.