Towards 80-30-80

Illustration of public resilience initiative for a place to collect drinking water in an emergency

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 accelerate 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. 

Wellington Water was seeking support in developing a water resilience strategy and business case to guide investment in resilience initiatives. Cardno’s team of resilience experts were on hand to help Wellington Water develop a clear, concise, and targeted strategy called Towards 80-30-80.

The central focus of this strategy was to deliver a series of resilience initiatives that would allow 80 per cent of the region’s customers, within 30 days of a reasonable seismic event, to access 80 per cent of their normal water needs (80-30-80). Our team recognised early on that this strategy needed organisational support to be successful. An ideas room was established to harness the collective resilience ideas of Wellington Water. These ideas helped underpin development of more than 30 resilience initiatives to be investigated over the course of the next 12 months. 

Cardno’s experts prioritised investigations into each of these work-streams based on factors such as complexity, cost, timeframe to deliver, and value for money. This helped focus resources on projects that were likely to deliver the most resilience benefit in the final programme. 

Cardno also recognised that the key to delivering a seemingly complex strategy lay in communicating a simple story. This simple story would enable Wellington Water to explain resilience to key stakeholders in a down-to-earth approach. Cardno drew on its in-house creative design team to develop simple but effective infographics that supported the investment story.  

These infographics were used to complement the overall resilience strategy and development of the final 80-30-80 document. 

This project demonstrated Cardno’s unique ability to deliver innovative solutions that consider both present and future client needs. Flexible investment was top of mind in the strategy – meaning WWL’s client councils could accelerate or pause resilience investments depending on yearly funding conditions. This flexibility was demonstrated immediately following the Kaikōura earthquake in 2016 and a central government call to accelerate investment in water resilience initiatives. 

Cardno’s strategic thinking and innovation, coupled with a focus on value for money and simplicity, helped Wellington Water generate a recommended programme that is seen as industry leading in its approach. 

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