Wellington water resilience welcomed
Minister of Civil Defence Kris Faafoi has welcomed the news that Wellingtonians will have access to 20 litres of emergency water from day eight after a major earthquake, but reminded people that everyone needs to prepare for emergencies.
“We know that parts of the Wellington Region could be without tap water for up to 100 days following a major earthquake as a result of damage to the water supply network and potential access difficulties.
“Nationally, we advise households to store at least three litres of drinking water per person per day for a minimum of three days. But Wellington residents should be prepared to look after themselves for the first seven days following a significant earthquake, as parts of the city may be isolated for some time. We normally use more than 200 litres of water a day each, so the more you store, the better.”
Attending an event to mark progress on the new above ground water network today, Mr Faafoi commended efforts that will ensure that all Wellington residents have a collection point within one kilometre of their home.
“The new network stands alone from 2,000 kilometres of buried pipes,” Mr Faafoi said, “because in an earthquake of 7.5 or stronger we could see more than 70 per cent of the drinking water network fail.
“Wellington Water and the region’s councils have worked well together and with speed, and this new network significantly improves the region’s water resilience and ability to recover from a significant earthquake.”
The Government provided $6 million to part fund emergency water supplies in Wellington, Porirua, Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt. The region’s councils have contributed $6 million to the project and are responsible for setting up and maintaining the emergency water supplies.
New community water stations are strategically located in parks, schools, and roadsides across the emergency response ‘islands’. Each of the 22 community water stations are capable of supplying 4,000 to 11,000 people every day.
The next phase of work sees Wellington Water and councils setting up a model for distributing water across the four city council areas. It’s likely that contractors, staff, and emergency volunteers will help distribute water across emergency water zones.