Drinking Water Safety Planning: A Collaborative Approach

Sadie Boersema (WSP)

By November 2022 all registered water suppliers should have an active and implemented drinking water safety plan in place. This will demonstrate the water supplier's due diligence in meeting the legislative requirement, as well as assisting in identifying risks and minimising residual risk in the water supply systems. Improvements required, identified as part of the risk assessment process, need to be actioned within the suppliers committed timeframe and the supplier will be held responsible for the implementation thereof. 

Even though it might seem like a massive and onerous task, having a thorough and accurate water safety plan can be a "one stop shop" for everything related to the water supply. It can be a user friendly, central location for all information related to the water supply, all the way from the source, through treatment, to the distribution system, It is a very useful tool for training new personnel.

A simple approach can be used to transform the water supply plan into a useful and valuable document for any water supply. Involving all relevant water supply personnel in the water safety planning process, ownership of the water safety plan accuracy and implementation is shared. Collaboration between the supply owner, the people managing the supply and the authors of the water safety pan have proven to be invaluable in the water safety planning process.

This approach was applied to the active Tauranga City Council (TCC) and Kaipara District Council (KDC) water safety plants. TCC's water safety plan was approved in 2021. Approval of the plan is not the goal anymore; effective management of ricks in a way that works for the supplier is the goal. Numerous unacceptable risks have been identified by the water suppliers through this process and planned improvements were actioned to minimise these risks. When improvement plans are well thought through, they can feed into the Long-term Plan (LTP) and justify budget expenditure. This collaborative approach to water safety planning led to effective planning, improved risk management and implementation of improvements in these water supplies. 


4 MB
08 Nov 2022

1500 Sadie Boersema WNZCE2022 Sadie_Boersema.pptx

15 MB
09 Nov 2022