Community: Above-ground emergency water network

A new above-ground emergency water network will supply Wellington communities from day eight after a major earthquake. The alternative water supplies will be ready to deploy by mid-2018.

Wellington is a great place to live, work and play. But it can be a little wild! 

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Wellington's water supply network is vulnerable. Some suburbs could be without water for more than 100 days after an earthquake of 7.5 or stronger. 

Our water network is made up of more than 2,000 kilometres of buried pipes – and around 1,400 kilometres are considered vulnerable. Around 30 per cent of our 149 water reservoirs are also considered vulnerable.

The emergency water supply network will supply the more than 400,000 people across Wellington who may need to survive without a water network.

Restoration times


Hunt for emergency water sources update - 16 March 2018.

Media statement 27 June 2017: Budget 2017: $6m for Wellington regional emergency water supplies

Recent media coverage 

One News: Wellington preparing for disaster by drilling into Earth’s surface in search of water

Capital complacency: Wellington residents still aren't ready for the big one, a year after the November 14 earthquake

Capital gets into gear as it recovers from the quake

Government sets aside $6m in budget to help build water resilience in Wellington

The science of a water aquifer

'Urgent' freshwater search under way in Wellington

Finding emergency water supplies for Wellington and Porirua

Community response 'islands'

Where communities once relied on tap water, these same communities will now be 17 isolated ‘islands’ that need to be totally self-sufficient. Essential services and facilities – road and transportation networks, water, wastewater, power, gas, and telecommunications will all be significantly affected in a major event.   Read more

What is a Community Water Station?

We’re planning for at least 22 Community Water Stations across the metropolitan region. At some sites we're drilling new wells to source water, and at other sites water will be taken from streams.   Read more

Where are the water stations?

We are working closely with all Wellington councils to confirm the design and location for each water station. Decisions on the design and location of each new water station are based on availability of water, site accessibility, and landowner preference.   Read more

How the emergency water network will operate

New alternative water supplies will be ready to supply communities from day eight after a major earthquake.   Read more

Finding water sources

Field measurements and investigations have identified the most reliable and safe water sources.   Read more