Wellington's Hydrogeological Investigation

Photo of a testing site for investigatory drilling to find drinking water

Cardno is proud to have led on the most comprehensive hydrogeological investigation of its kind in the Wellington region.

Cardno’s hydrogeological experts were engaged by Wellington Water to:

  • review the region’s geology 
  • identify possible water sources against a number of criteria 
  • test the viability of these sources through exploratory drilling or sampling.  

This programme of work supported investigations into a wider resilience strategy to deliver emergency water supplies for the region in case of an earthquake or other significant event. Our experts were up for the challenge, quickly developing a 12-month programme of works to narrow in on potential water sources and systematically reduce the client’s risk. Our target areas included viable ground water sources, as well as above surface water streams. 

Groundwater investigations used a range of available data, as well as geophysical imaging techniques. This led to refinement and selection of sites for consenting and investigative drilling. Cardno then procured drilling services through a competitive tender, followed by site advisory and programme management of drilling services. Our advisory services helped decide aspects of each drilled bore including screen placement, well casing, and pump testing. 

Surface water sources were investigated through a comprehensive review of hydrogeology data, as well as contaminated sites and other factors affecting water quality. Cardno’s teams then mobilised to the field to collect water samples from prospective sites following strict sampling and handling criteria. Our experts monitored these sites through the course of the year looking at summer and winter flows, as well as sediment and in-stream ecology. 

After the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake, Cardno was engaged to fast-track water resilience initiatives from the 80-30-80 Strategy, which included drilling of emergency groundwater bores.  

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