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Sustaining Water Infrastructure, After the Gold Rush

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Much of the infrastructure in the City of Dunedin, New Zealand, was developed during the boom years following the discovery of gold in the region in the 1860s. Subsequent periods of population decline and recession left a legacy of ageing infrastructure and substantial deferred investments in water renewals, which presented a significant problem for the current generation to address. To sustainably meet the present and future needs of the city, a new approach to the planning and management of the water infrastructure was required. The approach by the Dunedin City Council (DCC) to resolve the issue, comprised of four key steps; creation of a business improvement plan, development of a ‘Three-Waters Strategy’. (water, wastewater and stormwater), international benchmarking, and a comprehensive review of governance arrangements. Through the Three-Waters Strategy development work, and the knowledge gained by building integrated hydraulic models of the three-waters on a common modelling platform, a significant improvement in business performance was achieved.
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Keywords: Water; advanced asset management; ageing infrastructure; governance; modelling; optimised decision-making; strategic management; sustainability; three-waters; utility planning

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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