The Council's emergency water plans

Wellington's emergency water supply is a critical issue. The Council has several initiatives underway to preserve and increase the city's water reserves.

25,000-litre emergency water tank.

25,000-litre emergency water tank at Brooklyn Community Centre

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Emergency water tanks

The installation of fifty 25,000-litre emergency water tanks over four years is a Wellington City Council project and in line with the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Plan.

Wellington City Council is half way through the project and to date 25 emergency water tanks have been installed in suburbs around Wellington.

Most of the tanks hold 25,000 litres of water each but in some locations two 10,000-litre tanks have been installed.

In the event of an emergency, you will be able to collect drinking water from these tanks until the water pipe network is repaired. The water can be collected from the water tanks via a manifold which means that more than one person can be filling a water container at the same time. For safety, we advise that this water is brought to the boil and boiled for one minute before drinking.

The tanks will augment the water storage of our network reservoirs. You will find them at civil defence centres like schools and community halls as well as at other accessible locations. The tanks are connected to the water supply system and will be kept full. If necessary, they can be used to collect and store rainwater or refilled by water tankers.

Map showing the locations of the emergency water tanks in Wellington


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Emergency Water Tanks (88KB PDF) Text Version (597KB RTF)

New reservoir above Prince of Wales Park

The Council is planning a major new reservoir to be built above Prince of Wales Park in Mt Cook. The 35 million-litre buried concrete reservoir will provide an emergency water supply for Wellington Hospital, and significantly increase water storage for the central business district.

The reservoir will take about 2 years to complete once construction starts.  When finished, it will be buried and landscaped, and the surrounding area reinstated.

Messines Road reservoirs upgraded

As part of the Council's efforts to safeguard the city's water supply, two water reservoirs on Messines Road in Karori have recently been enlarged and seismically strengthened.

Projects - Messines Road Reservoirs

Regional role

The Council is a member of the Wellington Emergency Water Supply Planning Group. It takes a regional approach to managing the issue. The Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) is developing strategies to address emergency bulk supplies.