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There’s still a short time left to get your Stormwater and Modelling abstracts in, more on the untapped potential of biosolids and the growing need for “spongy” cities.

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Latest Updates

Upper North Island flooding

Water New Zealand sends our sympathies to the people affected by the unprecedented storm and devastating flooding in the upper part of Te Ika-a-Māui North Island, especially those who have lost family and friends, their homes and livelihoods.

Congratulations to new water reform minister

Congratulations to new Local Government Minister Kieran  McAnulty, who this week took on the role steering the water reforms. 

Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian Blythe says that there has been a big increase in the level of overall understanding about the challenges facing our three waters as well as an acknowledgement of the massive long term under investment in infrastructure..

"We look forward to engaging with the new minister while at the same time acknowledging the huge level of commitment of the former Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta who has led the reform process to the current stage.  We appreciate her willingness to have listened to our members and the sector as well as regularly attending key events and conferences."

Call for Abstracts extended till 7 February

If you haven't had a chance to get your abstract to us yet, then the good news is - you've got a little more breathing space.

Presenting at the Stormwater 2023 Conference is a great opportunity to share your ideas, projects or work. We're inviting water professionals and anyone with an interest in stormwater, to submit an abstract proposal from policy to implementation, including western science/knowledge and mātauranga Māori.

Find out more

Stormwater Innovation Presentation and Award

Celebrate and acknowledge new ways of thinking or doing - aimed at improving stormwater outcomes across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Do you have project, process or innovative solution you’d like to share with an audience of stormwater professionals?

Call for innovations close on April 28

Find out more

Call for Abstracts extended till 7 February 

If you've missed getting your Modelling abstract to us, we're giving you a little extra time. We are calling for abstracts on a number of themes as well as a 'wildcard' entry, so take a look at the options available.

Find out more

Water New Zealand Conference & Expo 2023 - Save the Date

October 17 - 19, Tākina, Wellington

This year the biggest event on the water sector calendar will be held in Wellington - for the first time in more than two decades! 

We look forward to welcoming you to the brand new Tākina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre in the heart of the capital. This is looking to be a great venue and our expo sites will be going on sale later this month.  We hope to have the website live in the next week or so and the Call for Abstracts will go out in early March. But in the meantime make sure you Save the Date!


Hallett UV Seminars 13-24 Feb

Turning biosolids into a valuable resource

In last week's Pipeline, we linked to a discussion between Caroline and Ash from Lutra along with Downer's Salma Rayan discussing how a new technological approach to managing biosolids could turn waste into a valuable resource and at the same time reduce PFAs, microplastics and carbon emissions.

See the earlier video

Continuing their discussion on biosolids management, Ash, Caroline and Salma talk about how things can be improved in the future.

Link to the latest  video

See further down under Industry News for a Newsroom report on the potential of biosolids.

Farewell to Bill Bayfield

Taumata Arowai chief executive Bill Bayfield officially handed over the reins to incoming CEO Allan Prangnell this week.  Bill has been at the helm of Taumata Arowai from its establishment phase when he referred to himself as being the chief executive of a “ghost chips” organisation through to its official establishment as  the new crown entity water services regulator for Aotearoa New Zealand.

We wish Bill all the best and we look forward to working with Allan.  See further down under Upcoming Events for information on the first 2023 Taumata Arowai webinar. 

PFAS National Environmental Management Plan consultation

The PFAS National fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) National Environmental Management Plan (PFAS NEMP) provides guidance and standards on the investigation, assessment, and management of PFAS in water, wastewater, biosolids and compost, waste material and the environment.

The draft PFAS NEMP version 3.0 is now open for public consultation. This can be accessed here Have your say | Ministry for the Environment.

Water New Zealand is drafting a submission which will be available to members for comment shortly. If you would like to have input on the submission please contact – gavin.sole@tiakienvironmental.co.nz

Draft Transfer Principles - survey

The National Transition Unit is keen to hear the views of the sector on the transfer of assets and liabilities, in particular unanswered questions and other matters not covered by the principles.

See the Draft Transfer Principles and survey link

Comments on the Water Services Legislation Bill are best directed to the Select Committee but there is also an opportunity to provide feed back through a short survey.

Industry News

Auckland’s historic flooding explained in five charts

The epic deluge and subsequent flooding across Auckland broke just about every record in the book. Newsroom has pulled the data together to show just how unprecedented this storm was.

Read the article

What a waste: getting our poop sludge out of landfill 

In a recent Newsroom article on the huge amount of biosolids effectively wasted in our landfills, Water New Zealand chief executive, Gillian Blythe said that three waters reform provides important opportunities for greater innovation in our sector.

She said that discussion around the advantages of reform have become lost amid the controversy over governance issues.

"It’s vital you have boards of directors and management teams able to concentrate on water infrastructure services all the time, not parks, or dog control or noise."

Read the full article


Bye Bye Blockages!

First step towards specialist workforce for water services across Aotearoa New Zealand

Water New Zealand welcomes the appointment of Jon Lamonte, Colin Crampton and Vaughan Payne as establishment chief executives for three of the new Water Service Entities.

Read more

Water industry group warns against more delays to Three Waters reform

In an interview with Brent Edwards from NBR, Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian Blythe explained the urgent need for industry reform in order to fix the huge infrastructure deficit. NBR subscribers can access the discussion here.

Council wastewater ponds may have to be fenced

Water New Zealand says a WorkSafe order that led to the Gore District Council erecting deer fencing around its wastewater ponds could set a standard that other councils need to take note of. 

Read the Stuff article

Water New Zealand will be raising this issue for discussion at our next Water Services Managers' Group meeting. 

Warning that Europe is on the verge of catastrophe as groundwater reserves dry up.

Since 2018 and 2019 there has been no significant rise in groundwater levels, which have remained constantly low, causing a severe water shortage in Central Europe.

Read more

The 'spongy' cities of the future 

Cities need to become more ‘spongy’. Auckland is leading the way.

Read this BBC article 

Before Auckland flooded badly on Friday evening University of Auckland Urban Planning Senior Lecturer Timothy Welch wrote about the idea of 'spongy cities' to cope with increased climate change rainfall.

Listen to interview on RNZ

Stormwater: the difficult 'third water'

BusinessDesk Managing Editor, Pattrick Smellie questions how many billions of dollars we need to invest, and where does the money to come from, to prepare our national infrastructure for the near inevitability that Auckland's unprecedented flooding is going to keep on happening more often and worse than before?

Subscribers can view the article here

Thames Water’s real-time map confirms raw sewage discharges

Real-time map confirms raw sewage discharges in Gloucestershire rivers as water companies are accused of routinely pumping out waste to rivers

Read more 


Upcoming Events

Water Legislation and Economic Efficiency Bills

The Water Services Legislation Bill and the Water Services Economic Efficiency and Consumer Protection Bill are open for consultation..

Water New Zealand is drafting submissions for both bills. If you are a member and would like input into them, please contact nicci.wood@waternz.org.nz

On 8 February, we will hold members-only webinars on both bills to provide an overview of the bills and an overview of our submission. Register for the webinars Water Services Legislation and Economic Efficiency. 

Slides from these webinars will be available to members following the webinars and the draft submissions will be available on our website on February 10. We'll be asking for comments by the end of the day on February 14 and submitting the final documents on Friday, February 17 (we have been granted an extension). 


Water Loss Training Event, 23 & 24 February, Auckland.

Drinking Water 201 - Digital Badge

6 February - 6 March


Find out more and register 

Small Water Supplies 101 - Digital Badge

15 February - 15 March


Find out more and register

Backflow 101 - Digital Badge

8 February - 8 March


Find out more and register

Strategic Overview of Rivers and Catchments: Geomorphology and River Management

14 - 15 February | 9 am - 5 pm


This programme aims to identify a framework to raise awareness, learning and development pathways and ultimately drive recruitment and attraction strategies to assure river management expertise for the future.

Find out more

Tools in Fluvial Geomorphology Workshop

16 February | 9 am - 5 pm


This programme has been designed to identify a framework to raise awareness, learning and development pathways and ultimately drive recruitment and attraction strategies to assure river management expertise for the future.

Find out more

Breaking Down the Silos - What does Sustainability Mean? 

16 February | 5 - 7 pm

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland 

A panel discussion providing insights as to how we might, as professionals, break down the silos and be part of the solution in providing beautiful, liveable, affordable, and culturally rich cities while improving environmental outcomes.

Find out more and register

Dam Safety Regulations 2022

23 February | 11 am - 12 pm


Dam Safety Regulations that have been introduced to provide a minimum, consistent and effective risk-based regulatory framework for post-construction dam safety. By attending this webinar water service providers can learn whether they are managing assets that are classifiable dams covered by the regulations and can familiarise themselves with relevant compliance requirements.

Find out more

Wastewater 101 - Digital Badge

8 February - 8 March 


Find out more and register

Drinking Water 101 - Digital Badge

13 February - 13 March


Find out more and register

Stormwater 101 - Digital Badge

15 February - 15 March 


Find out more and register

Water Utilities Association Online Meetings

14 and 28 February |10 - 11 am

The first of two online meetings will be on the “WSEs Organisational Design – draft approved for engagement” for the new entities.

If you are a member of the WUA, go here to find out more and register

Taumata Arowai Update

15 February | 11 am - 12 pm

In this webinar, Taumata Arowai will cover Drinking Water Safety Plans, exemptions, incidents and responses plus time for questions and answers.

Panelists include Allan Prangnell, incoming Taumata Arowai CE, Noah Hensley, Senior Technical Advisor, Melinda Sando, Regulatory Services Manager and Rachel East, Regulatory Team Leader Dunedin.

Find out more and register

Site visit to Te Kuru wetland stormwater and flood management facility

21 February | 5.30 - 7. 30 pm

Ōtautahi Christchurch

This site showcases Christchurch City Council’s six values approach to surface water management, addressing not only drainage issues, but also enhancing cultural, ecological, recreation, landscape and heritage values.

Find out more and register

Backflow Conference 2023 - Save the Date

1 - 2 August

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

We have confirmed the date and venue for the Backflow Conference 2023. It will be at the Parnell Hotel and Conference Centre on 1-2 August. We'll bring more details soon.

View all events >

Job Vacancies

Wellington Water

Principal Engineer - Drinking Water - Network Engineering

In this role you will take a guiding role on network projects, supporting the Network Engineering team to deliver them and lending your technical expertise to complex issues.

Applications close: no closing date

Find out more

Hamilton City Council

Laboratory Assistant and Technician

As well as learning and performing sampling, testing and calibration methods, you will have the opportunity to participate in the development of standard operating procedures and make recommendations for improvement, and help the team maintain its IANZ accredited sampling and testing scope.

Applications close: 12 February 2023

Find out more

Matamata-Piako District Council

Three Waters Utilities Engineer

This role is responsible for overseeing our 3 Waters data through our data toolset and SCADA systems, the planning, design and monitoring of operational and capital expenditure works, as well as project managing the delivery of minor capex works.

Applications close: 13 February 2023

Find out more

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