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Seismic Resilience of 3 Waters Network


The aim of this project is to integrate seismic resilience measures into business-as-usual asset management practices of 3 Waters service delivery. The final outcome of the project will be tools to allow the seismic risk to 3 Waters infrastructure to be realistically priced for the purpose of:

  • Long-term plans
  • Capital investment
  • Maintenance decisions
  • Insurance


The Problem


In 2014, the total replacement value of the 3 waters assets in New Zealand was estimated about NZ$45.2 billion. The wastewater network had the highest replacement value at around NZ$16,2 billions and storm water at NZ$11.2 billion. As these assets are upgraded or replaced, many difficult decisions will need to be made in respect to the trade-offs between Levels of Service, capital costs, operation costs and management of risk. One key lesson from the Canterbury Earthquakes is that insurance cannot be relied upon as a sole risk mitigation strategy.


It is important that the argument for, and the cost of, seismic resilience is adequately understood, so that balanced judgments can be made in the investment and management of the 3 waters assets from a whole-of-life perspective. This project aims to provide technical and decision support tools to assist in this process.


The Solution

There are several stages to the project.

  1. Definitions of Levels of Service (LoS) - completed
  2. Creation of Spatial Seismic Loss Assessment Tool
  3. Integration of fragility curves (from Opus Research's NHRP project and others for potable and wastewater)
  4. Piloting in a city/region
  5. Tool available to QC partners

Level of Service Performance Measure for the Seismic Resilience of 3 Waters Network Delivery

This first stage is complete. The Levels of Service Performance Measures for the Seismic Resilience of 3 Waters Network Delivery guidelines define the Levels of Service across all aspects of the 3 Waters system that may be expected as the recovery progresses from an emergency. It also provides a template to assist in the development of community specific Levels of Service and describes the iterative process that needs to be undertaken to allow consultation with the community


Recent updates


Last updated: 24/09/15



Timeline placeholder




• Review and final draft of LoS Guidelines





 Appointment of research engineer




• Finding the right research engineer



• Wider advertising campaign


Figure 1: Using the measures to evaluate post-event levels of service



Whilst the measures are deigned for understanding Level of Service in preparation for an earthquake they are equally applicable as a recovery management tool after a seismic event or any other natural disaster. The guidelines are available for the Quake Centre or Water NZ's websites.








In addition the Quake Centre is promoting that the Geostructural College within the profession take leadership of ensuring the body of knowledge that the curriculum will be based on being kept up to date with current practice.


Who will benefit?

  • Recent graduates
  • Established engineers who wish to upskill
  • The broader industry and communities using services of engineers. 

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