The Cross-Harbour Pipeline is a major new project to improve water supply resilience for the metropolitan region through a submarine water supply pipeline that will cross Wellington Harbour.
The pipeline will carry water from the Waiwhetu Aquifer, in Lower Hutt, through a high-density polyethylene pipe nestled into the harbour floor, coming ashore in Evans Bay.
It will provide critical bulk water supply resilience with Wellington City’s water currently piped from the Hutt Valley along State Highways 2 and 1, crossing known earthquake fault-lines multiple times.
If damaged in a large earthquake, the pipes could take months to repair. That could leave parts of the city, particularly the eastern and southern suburbs, without water for up to 100 days.
The pipeline will provide an alternative supply line to Wellington, helping ensure there’s enough water to keep Wellington going in the months following a major earthquake. It will also provide much needed resilience for day-to-day water operations, should major repairs or maintenance work be required on existing pipes and reservoirs.
Investigations are currently underway to determine the best locations for the supporting infrastructure and pipeline itself, which will be followed by design and cost finalising. The project is currently funded for $116 million in the regional council’s 10-year plan.
The confirmation of the pipeline comes after two exploratory bores were drilled into the harbour floor showed that water quality and quantity from the aquifer closer to Wellington was not suitable for the resilience goals the councils were seeking.
The project is currently in the investigation stage.
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