Water Services Reform

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WSEs need emergency plans in place from Day 1

Water Services Entities (WSEs) must have an Incident and Emergency Management (I&EM) Plan in place on the first day of their operation to meet the needs of their community, as well as meet legislative requirements.

The Water Services Reform National Transition Unit (NTU) is developing Water Sector Incident and Emergency Management Framework and Guidelines to enable WSEs to develop their own emergency response and recovery arrangements, beyond ‘business-as-usual’ incident management.

“The I&EM Guidelines will include a before, during and post event procedures for WSEs, recommended I&EM plans and documentation, and key relationship interdependencies,” says Tim Hammond, the NTU’s Operations Lead.

“On Day 1 WSE staff need to understand when, and how to escalate an issue and understand their role in a major response situation to offset the current variations in I&EM practices across existing agencies,” he says.

WSEs will be a 'lifeline utility’ (critical infrastructure) under the Civil Defence Management Act which means they must be able to function, even if it's at reduced levels during and after an emergency.

The I&EM Guidelines are being developed by a working group made up of eight council representatives, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Taumata Arowai and the National Transition Unit. The draft guidelines are being reviewed by subject matter experts and socialised across the emergency management and water sectors.


Lisa Roberts, from Infrastructure Decisions Limited and Tim Hammond writing the Water Sector I&EM Guidelines