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Published 13/12/2022

Wellington City’s CBD drinking water storage doubled

Wellington City’s drinking water network became more resilient today, says Colin Crampton, CE Wellington Water at an event this morning to mark the connection of the Omāroro Reservoir to the network.


Omāroro is a new 35 million litre reservoir which has been constructed by Wellington Water, on behalf of Wellington City Council, to provide the city with at least a 48-hour water supply buffer (currently 24 hours) if there is significant disruption to the water supply. It also provides a significant increase in the amount of water available to the community should there be a large earthquake.


“While the project is expected to be finished in winter 2023, today marks an important milestone as it means we can start to draw down from the reservoir and feed water into the network if needed,” says Mr Crampton.


“This increased resilience to our drinking water supply is really important,” says Wellington City Mayor Tory Whanau. “While all Wellingtonians accept the fact that natural events like earthquakes are just part of living in our city, when such events occur, we now have a much greater supply of safe drinking water to get us through until the water supply is restored.”


“Additionally, having the back-up in supply is particularly timely this year as we head into the drier and warmer summer months with the recent rise in leaks across the network. This, paired with the increased work Wellington Water is doing in finding and fixing leaks means we are working to be as prepared as we can be for summer.” 


Today’s milestone comes after weeks of successful testing of the new reservoir and pipe connections to ensure everything is operational and ready to feed drinking water into the network.



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Notes for editors


  • Located in Mt Cook in Wellington, Omāroro is a fully buried and seismically resilient reservoir and is one of the largest in the southern hemisphere.
  • It serves around 70,000 residents in the Wellington CBD, Thorndon, Newtown, Mount Cook, Hataitai, Kilbirnie, Miramar, Strathmore and Seatoun
  • It serves critical facilities including the Wellington Regional Hospital, businesses and the government
  • The reservoir will be fully buried and landscaped over summer and on completion, Wellington Water will hand over enhanced playing fields with new drainage and irrigation, new access routes and upgraded parking to the top of Rolleston St.
  • Main Contractor: HEB Construction; Designers: BECA, and Holmes; Engineers: Beca & WSP; Wellington Water: Major Projects team , Network Engineering team and Customer Operations Group.




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