Water

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The government has repealed (cancelled) all legislation to create a new water service provider. This means water infrastructure and services will remain under council ownership and control.

The government's policies relating to water services will be further developed in 2024.

Our central proposal for water

To make sure Aucklanders continue to enjoy a safe and reliable water service and that wastewater is treated to a high standard, Watercare will stay focused on upgrading and delivering new, cost-efficient infrastructure to support our growing city.

We propose a total capital (assets) spend of:

  • $13.9 billion for Watercare to ensure we can address our priorities
  • $3.3 billion for council’s stormwater projects.

We also propose to reinstate the water quality targeted rate and extend it to 2033/2034. This would fund projects including to improve water quality in the:

Highlights of our central proposal for water

Under our central proposal we will:

  • upgrade the aging Huia Water Treatment Plants and the Nihotupu 1 Raw Watermain to ensure a continuous water supply and a better service
  • construct the 33km North Harbour Watermain from Titirangi to Albany by 2030
  • construct a 16km watermain from Ardmore Road to Redoubt Road, including an additional 50-million-litre treated water storage reservoir at Redoubt Road
  • plan for a new Waitematā Harbour tunnel under the harbour to service the growing population in the lower North Shore suburbs (expected by 2033)
  • delay construction of the North Harbour 2 Watermain until 2025 for completion by 2030
  • extend the Central Interceptor to Erin Point to improve connections and water quality in Herne Bay and St Marys Bay
  • construct the second stage of the Northern Interceptor, including trunk sewers (these collect and carry wastewater, sewage or stormwater to an intercepting sewer or treatment plant) for local catchments
  • re-establish the original shape of the volcanic cone on Puketutu Island to how it was before it became a quarry
  • complete the Paerata Culvert flood protection upgrade works
  • undertake large construction projects for wastewater treatment facilities and transmission and pumping infrastructure including:
  • develop and implement the western isthmus water quality improvement programme for priority catchment areas in parts of central Auckland
  • deliver the Making Space for Water programme over 10 years to strengthen resilience to flooding
  • renew and upgrade critical assets such as the East Tāmaki dam and the Paremuka dam culverts (large underground pipe to help prevent flooding)
  • continue work to restore the health and mauri (life force) of the Kaipara Harbour through the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme
  • undertake limited work to support investment in priority housing areas, including $475 million of stormwater investment for the Auckland housing programme areas supported by the Housing Acceleration Fund.

Decorative image of a man working on a water pipe with a pipe saw.

Trade-offs

We have developed other options to show you what to expect from our water services should we pay less or pay more for them through our rates.

Pay more, get more

A pay more, get more scenario would increase investment to improve the resilience and efficiency of Auckland’s water assets.

If the government finds a solution that allows Watercare to borrow more without increasing the council group’s debt ratio, and avoid big increases in water pricing, Watercare could invest around $1 billion more in the first three years of the long-term plan.

This would mean we could speed-up investment in wastewater assets to:

  • further reduce outflows and better comply with discharge consent rules. (See Stormwater, risks requirements and responsibilities for more information)
  • improve wastewater removal in neighbourhoods that have less wastewater infrastructure, such as in Clarks Beach, Waiwera, Red Hills and Warkworth.

Making Space for Water

Increased investment in the Making Space for Water programme would strengthen Auckland’s resilience to flooding. It would also deliver the same, but quicker outputs as proposed in the central proposal.

With more investment however, this would happen within six years instead of across 10 years as planned in the central proposal.

Pay less, get less

If we decide to pay less and get less, work to renew water assets would reduce further and lead to:

  • higher unplanned maintenance costs
  • more frequent periods without water for some Aucklanders
  • higher operating costs through leakage.

Paying less would also mean:

  • we would focus investment on water quality compliance and renewals projects
  • delaying projects to grow and improve our water services
  • no investment for infrastructure in the near future to grow the water network
  • a less resilient network through delayed investment in a water and wastewater treatment plant
  • continued wastewater overflows into the harbour and waterways.

Point Erin Central Interceptor Extension

Reduced funding would mean we could not progress the Point Erin Central Interceptor Extension to deliver cleaner waterways and beaches. This would impact Auckland’s water quality and the council would need to carry out an alternative stormwater separation project in the Herne Bay area.

Making Space for Water

Reduced investment in the Making Space for Water programme would mean we could only focus on maintenance works with no further investment for improvements to reduce the risk of flooding in known high-risk areas.

Decorative image of a woman weighing a lot of books in one hand and fewer books in the other.

You should know

The information on this page is an edited version of the proposed Long-term Plan 2024-2034 Consultation Document.

For more information about our proposals for water, see pages 35-37 of the Long-term Plan 2024-2034 Consultation Document [PDF 17MB].

The government has repealed (cancelled) all legislation to create a new water service provider. This means water infrastructure and services will remain under council ownership and control.

The government's policies relating to water services will be further developed in 2024.

Our central proposal for water

To make sure Aucklanders continue to enjoy a safe and reliable water service and that wastewater is treated to a high standard, Watercare will stay focused on upgrading and delivering new, cost-efficient infrastructure to support our growing city.

We propose a total capital (assets) spend of:

  • $13.9 billion for Watercare to ensure we can address our priorities
  • $3.3 billion for council’s stormwater projects.

We also propose to reinstate the water quality targeted rate and extend it to 2033/2034. This would fund projects including to improve water quality in the:

Highlights of our central proposal for water

Under our central proposal we will:

  • upgrade the aging Huia Water Treatment Plants and the Nihotupu 1 Raw Watermain to ensure a continuous water supply and a better service
  • construct the 33km North Harbour Watermain from Titirangi to Albany by 2030
  • construct a 16km watermain from Ardmore Road to Redoubt Road, including an additional 50-million-litre treated water storage reservoir at Redoubt Road
  • plan for a new Waitematā Harbour tunnel under the harbour to service the growing population in the lower North Shore suburbs (expected by 2033)
  • delay construction of the North Harbour 2 Watermain until 2025 for completion by 2030
  • extend the Central Interceptor to Erin Point to improve connections and water quality in Herne Bay and St Marys Bay
  • construct the second stage of the Northern Interceptor, including trunk sewers (these collect and carry wastewater, sewage or stormwater to an intercepting sewer or treatment plant) for local catchments
  • re-establish the original shape of the volcanic cone on Puketutu Island to how it was before it became a quarry
  • complete the Paerata Culvert flood protection upgrade works
  • undertake large construction projects for wastewater treatment facilities and transmission and pumping infrastructure including:
  • develop and implement the western isthmus water quality improvement programme for priority catchment areas in parts of central Auckland
  • deliver the Making Space for Water programme over 10 years to strengthen resilience to flooding
  • renew and upgrade critical assets such as the East Tāmaki dam and the Paremuka dam culverts (large underground pipe to help prevent flooding)
  • continue work to restore the health and mauri (life force) of the Kaipara Harbour through the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme
  • undertake limited work to support investment in priority housing areas, including $475 million of stormwater investment for the Auckland housing programme areas supported by the Housing Acceleration Fund.

Decorative image of a man working on a water pipe with a pipe saw.

Trade-offs

We have developed other options to show you what to expect from our water services should we pay less or pay more for them through our rates.

Pay more, get more

A pay more, get more scenario would increase investment to improve the resilience and efficiency of Auckland’s water assets.

If the government finds a solution that allows Watercare to borrow more without increasing the council group’s debt ratio, and avoid big increases in water pricing, Watercare could invest around $1 billion more in the first three years of the long-term plan.

This would mean we could speed-up investment in wastewater assets to:

  • further reduce outflows and better comply with discharge consent rules. (See Stormwater, risks requirements and responsibilities for more information)
  • improve wastewater removal in neighbourhoods that have less wastewater infrastructure, such as in Clarks Beach, Waiwera, Red Hills and Warkworth.

Making Space for Water

Increased investment in the Making Space for Water programme would strengthen Auckland’s resilience to flooding. It would also deliver the same, but quicker outputs as proposed in the central proposal.

With more investment however, this would happen within six years instead of across 10 years as planned in the central proposal.

Pay less, get less

If we decide to pay less and get less, work to renew water assets would reduce further and lead to:

  • higher unplanned maintenance costs
  • more frequent periods without water for some Aucklanders
  • higher operating costs through leakage.

Paying less would also mean:

  • we would focus investment on water quality compliance and renewals projects
  • delaying projects to grow and improve our water services
  • no investment for infrastructure in the near future to grow the water network
  • a less resilient network through delayed investment in a water and wastewater treatment plant
  • continued wastewater overflows into the harbour and waterways.

Point Erin Central Interceptor Extension

Reduced funding would mean we could not progress the Point Erin Central Interceptor Extension to deliver cleaner waterways and beaches. This would impact Auckland’s water quality and the council would need to carry out an alternative stormwater separation project in the Herne Bay area.

Making Space for Water

Reduced investment in the Making Space for Water programme would mean we could only focus on maintenance works with no further investment for improvements to reduce the risk of flooding in known high-risk areas.

Decorative image of a woman weighing a lot of books in one hand and fewer books in the other.

You should know

The information on this page is an edited version of the proposed Long-term Plan 2024-2034 Consultation Document.

For more information about our proposals for water, see pages 35-37 of the Long-term Plan 2024-2034 Consultation Document [PDF 17MB].

Page last updated: 02 Apr 2024, 07:44 AM