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Through the implementation of our service delivery strategy we’ve made a step change in the way we deliver our services – our alliance partnership, wastewater treatment plant contract, contractor panel, consultant panel, and the inclusion of South Wairarapa District Council have all contributed to expanding our Wellington Water whānau.

Our whānau model presents a unique opportunity to collaborate and seek creative and innovative approaches to dealing with existing issues and problems. Pulling together ideas from across the whānau we want to nurture a culture of innovation that will grow the collective capability of our people and enhance the reputation of the Wellington region as a leader in the water sector.

As an organisation we’ve grown and changed, and we want to make sure the three waters services (drinking water, wastewater and stormwater) that we’re responsible for are designed, maintained and improved through the use of innovation.

What is Three Waters Innovation?

We’re looking for creative and innovative approaches to deal with existing issues and problems. This could be improvements to systems and processes or introducing new technologies – we’re open to all kinds of ideas as long as they contribute to enhancing the three waters services we provide.

Innovation does not need to be about having out-of-this-world ideas. Innovation can be about looking at a problem in a new way and making a gentle and intelligent nudge. We want to see new approaches which are aiming to create a big impact. 

What are the focus areas for Three Waters Innovation?

During 2020 we will request submissions on the following focus areas, all relating to our strategic priorities. These will be presented as challenges.

Focus area

Submissions open

Submissions close

Carbon reduction



Healthy urban waters



Sustainable water supply






Challenge 1: Carbon Reduction

How can we reduce the carbon emissions, and cost, of our ongoing renewals programme?

How do I submit an idea?

Submissions can be made by completing and submitting the Three Water Innovation application form (found below) before the submission close date. 

If you have any questions about innovation at Wellington Water please email innovation@wellingtonwater.co.nz

How are ideas selected? 

Innovation process2

Related documents

Three Waters Innovation Application Form

146 KB | docx | 13/50/2020

Case studies

Kurimoto seismically resilient pipe

A water pipe project in Porirua has provided the opportunity to trial a new type of seismically resilient pipe. Read more.

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Deep Trekker Underwater Camera Drone

Wellington Water have purchased a Deep Trekker underwater inspection drone to develop an ongoing inspection program of its potable water reservoirs.

Previously, the internal condition of a reservoir was often largely unknown prior to draining it for inspection, cleaning and maintenance. This method lead to discovering various types of asset condition issues that are required to be resolved before returning the reservoir to service. These unknown costs often absorbed most of the year’s budget allocated for reservoir cleaning and inspections, limiting the number that can be completed. Underwater drone inspections were sometimes completed by contractors to minimise this risk, however these were expensive and often undertaken in reaction to a known issue, rather than a standard activity. With the cost of technology ever decreasing, it is now more cost effective for Wellington Water to purchase its own underwater drone and complete inspections in house.

The purchase of the drone allows Wellington Water to inexpensively inspect reservoirs internally to inform cleaning and maintenance priorities in a low risk manner. The drone can perform inspections without taking the reservoir out of service, and will allow Wellington Water to prioritise reservoir cleaning and maintenance that it can achieve within the year’s budget. More significant issues that are discovered can then be added to the LTP, allowing appropriate planning and budgeting of the work.

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Surveying made safer with robotic vehicles

Unsafe work environments continue to provide challenges for the surveying industry, with at times limited or even prohibited access resulting in project delays, increased risks and challenges to the timely capture of measurement data. 

Read more about the latest innovative survey technology on Beca's website here.

tunnel robot resized