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Solution to Dunedin’s ageing water infrastructure

This innovative water project in Dunedin delivered many industry firsts and was a showcase for advanced infrastructure asset management.

A legacy of ageing water infrastructure posed significant risks to Dunedin city – Dunedin 3 Waters was the solution. Dunedin 3 Waters was an exciting and challenging project that developed a long-term strategy for managing the city’s drinking, waste and storm water. It detailed improvements, capital works, further engineering studies and a transparent decision making process.

The project delivered many industry firsts and was recognised as a showcase for advanced infrastructure asset management. Opus presented an integrated approach to respond to the challenges of increased community expectation, a more stringent regulatory environment and climate change.

We prepared infrastructure master plans for water and wastewater and integrated catchment management plans that were stormwater focussed. Plans outlined a programme to address deficiencies by prioritising improvements and capital works. Appropriate investment was achieved through a range of modelling and decision-making techniques.

The project brought about significant results – the Council gained a better understanding of demand, growth potential and predicted effects of climate change. And demand management, grey water reuse and stormwater harvesting were shown to be unnecessary and uneconomic.

Operational efficiencies through better understanding the system have had an immediate impact on the local economy.

“The approach used for ensuring the successful delivery of this project is considered as a model example that various organisations could learn from. The lessons learned as well as the experience and knowledge gained over the life of the project has been invaluable for the project team; and will be taken well into the future to benefit Dunedin’s community. The project represents a key turning point in the journey towards sustainable infrastructure management for the Dunedin City Council, providing both immediate and long term benefits to Dunedin’s community.”Laura McElhone, Water and Waste Services Manager, Dunedin City Council.