Community Infrastructure Resilience

Photo of a Community Water Station that is a part of the CIR Project

Wellington, New Zealand is in a high-risk location for earthquakes, and a major event would severely damage water supply pipelines and treatment plants, resulting in a supply shortage.

The region is now on track to deliver more resilient water services through Cardno’s technical leadership and innovation. 

Wellington Water Limited (WWL) engaged the services of Cardno to assist in developing an innovative approach to accelerating long-term resilience strategies for their potable water network. Two key projects were delivered: 

  1. Towards 80-30-80. The long-term resilience strategy guiding and optimising network investment for the next 30 years to maximise resilience benefits delivered through new infrastructure, renewals, and network upgrades. The goal is to provide 80 per cent of customers, within 30 days of a reasonable seismic event, with 80 per cent of their normal water needs. 
  2. The Community Infrastructure Resilience (CIR) programme. A twelve month, $12 million strategic investment by central and local government to deliver a significant step change in potable water service should a significant earthquake strike the region. 

Cardno’s water supply resilience strategies helped the Wellington region secure funding to deliver an above-ground emergency water network. Cardno have converted strategy into action – delivering 22 low-cost modular water treatment stations, a comprehensive water distribution network, and an integrated emergency plan. This strategy was delivered in response to a request to improve the region’s access to emergency water supplies. Specifically, to provide 20 litres of water for every person, every day, within 1,000 metres of any dwelling. The emergency water supply will be available from day eight after the earthquake event.  

The CIR programme provided unique delivery and stakeholder challenges. The programme needed to be delivered in just 12 months from concept to completion. It also required close collaboration with the four local council bodies who would receive the various emergency assets. Traditional projects would move through three distinct phases to achieve this outcome – investigation, design and then delivery. The approach adopted by the CIR team involved shifting to an accelerated and flexible environment, catering for design challenges while meeting necessary milestones to ensure delivery in just twelve months.  

Read more on the innovative approach to accelerating long-term resilience strategies in Wellington: