“The right time to invest in water infrastructure is not when we’re in crisis, but at a point when we can have a long-term vision of integrating the whole water cycle and looking at all options,” Dr Nanda Altavilla, one of the country’s leading recycled water experts, recently named a NSW Legend of Water
Small industrial businesses along the Swan and Canning rivers are reducing their risk of contributing nutrients and contaminants into our waterways through a new Government program. The Light Industry Program partnered with local government authorities to help these businesses improve environmental management to better protect Perth's rivers. (DPC Media Statements)
This publication outlines the findings of a trial that has established a solid point of reference for a new treatment measure for water quality in urban subdivisions, with very favourable outcomes in reduced phosphorus cocentrations. (DoW)
A black bream tracking project in the Swan and Canning rivers is showing benefits of providing artificial oxygenation in the upper reaches of the rivers. Tracking of 55 tagged black bream had found they avoided areas of the rivers that had low oxygen levels, confirming river oxygenation was an important strategy for improving river water quality and survival of aquatic species. (DPC Media Statements)
With summer nearly here, it is important to remember gardens and local greenspaces can thrive during the hot weather, without the need to use lots of water. Water Corporation’s Waterwise Garden Rewards program is a great way to help people get their gardens ‘summer ready’ and encourage waterwise habits in the garden. (WALGA)
A draft Gascoyne Master Plan to guide future expansion of the Gascoyne food production industry has been released for public comment. A $25 million commitment from the Government was included in the plan to upgrade a pipeline delivering bulk water to irrigators from Carnarvon's southern borefield. (DPC Media Statements)
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman has announced a $19 million funding boost from Royalties for Regions to further develop an irrigation scheme around Manjimup and Pemberton. This investment builds on the $3.6 million Southern Forests Water Futures project and will substantially increase water security and horticultural opportunities in the region. (DPC Media Statements)
More than 600 hectares of State Government land, near Broome, will be leased at no cost to the Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) to establish a native fruit tree orchard. This was the first lease of its kind to be signed by the Water Corporation. (DPC Media Statements)
New mapping of aquifers in the Albany hinterland has revealed medium to long-term water source options for agriculture, industry and also potentially the regional water supply scheme. The results of this four-year water investigation reveal billions of litres of good quality groundwater that could form reliable water sources to meet regional development needs over the coming decades. (DPMC Media Statements)
Regional estuaries targeted for improvements
On-ground remediation works to improve the health of South Coast waterways will soon begin after the Government signed partnership agreements with local catchment groups, in the $20 million Royalties for Regions-funded Regional Estuaries Initiative.
- Oyster Harbour and Wilson Inlet
- Leschenault Estuary and Hardy Inlet (DPMC Media Statements)
Residents in bushfire prone areas are strongly encouraging residents in bushfire prone areas to secure an independent water supply and pumping capability, if they planned to stay and defend their home. Water utilities, such as the Water Corporation, would do everything they could to maintain scheme water during a bushfire but they must not be relied upon. (DPMC Media Statements)
Melbourne has been repeatedly awarded the accolade of world’s most liveable city. This is no doubt due in large part to the excellent public domain Melbourne offers. Its parks and leafy suburbs provide green amenity, and the city has great public programs through its libraries, cultural buildings and an ongoing calendar of events. However, Melbourne is growing rapidly in a way that threatens this overall liveability. (The Conversation)
The Commonwealth will evaluate the performance of Australia’s major cities to improve decision making on city development. A new National Cities Performance Framework would be developed in 2017, to assist the Federal Government to target smart cities policy and allow the public to see how cities were progressing. (DPMC Media Statements)
With the Victorian government likely to commit to a target of net-zero emissions by 2050, the leading author of a proposed emissions reduction strategy says water utilities are in prime position to lead the charge for renewable energy. (AWA)
An agreement to take action on waterway pollution, including microplastics, packaging and emerging chemicals, has been reached between Commonwealth, state and territory Environment Ministers. At the latest Meeting of Environment Ministers (MEM), ministers agreed they would regulate to ban microbeads if the current voluntary phase-out program did not succeed by mid-2017. (AWA)
Based in Brisbane, Go2zone is brought to you by Healthy Waterways and Catchments, a not-for-profit organisation that works to protect and improve our waterways. Go2zone is an innovative new initiative designed to provide the public with a genuine alternative to single-use, plastic bottles. Our Go2zone (innovation patented) vending machines dispense free, chilled water that allow you to refill any reusable bottle. If you don’t have a reusable bottle with you, no worries! Go2zone machines also sell high quality stainless steel or glass bottles for you to get water on the go.
Melbourne housing development using the latest water-sensitive inventions to help slash drinking water use by 70% has been officially opened. (AWA)
At the World Water Congress and Exhibition in Brisbane, the International Water Association launched the Principles for Water Wise Cities, with a call for further cities to provide their endorsement. The IWA developed the Principles for Water Wise Cities
to inspire change amongst urban and local leaders and catalyse a shift in the current water management paradigm to make cities more resilient and liveable. (IWA)
Governments around the world have adopted the Sustainable Development Goals to stop and reverse the decline of water quality and the destruction of freshwater ecosystems. They have set ambitious targets to “improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials”, and to “protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes”. This is an opportunity to reverse decades, or even centuries, of environmental degradation, and to get serious about replenishing the environment. (IWA)
Whether water sensitive urban design is a soaring success or an abject failure depends who you ask – or perhaps where you work. Water sensitive urban design, or WSUD, is widely regarded as an Australian innovation that rethinks the way we manage stormwater in cities. It’s an innovation that has arguably been through a long and challenging mainstreaming process, but is now enjoying widespread adoption. Well, in some states anyway. (Sourceable)
A new internal New South Wales government water portal is set to act as a one-stop shop for agencies wanting to update environmental water data. Developed by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), the Environmental Water Portal aims to improve reporting mechanisms and ultimately benefit irrigators and community members who want to access the information via the Environmental Water Register public interface. (AWA)
Queensland's new groundwater protection laws are being welcomed by farmers and environmentalists, but are sparking controversy among resource industry and government. The State Government has passed a bill requiring all mines currently under development to obtain an associated water licence if their operations could impact on groundwater. (AWA)
One of Australia’s leading water utilities has generated $72.4 million worth of benefits to the environment and society – a revelation from a world-first water sector quantification study on integrated profit and loss. Developed in partnership with international environmental data analysts Trucost and GIST, Yarra Valley Water (YVW) is the first water utility to measure annual environmental and social impacts, both positive and negative, in monetary terms. (AWA)
World Toilet Day is an opportunity to ensure Australians – young and old – are not taking wastewater treatment processes and clean waterways for granted. TasWater Education Coordinator Gina Harvey said we were privileged in Australia to generally have good access to sanitation, but a lack of community education could put that at risk. Harvey has been running a series of innovative school education programs, including one called 'From the Tap to the Sea' where children create their own sewage network to learn about all stages of the process. (AWA)
California’s vast water infrastructure is likely the most extensive in the world. It includes the tallest dam in the nation and enormous state and federal water projects that tap rivers flowing from as far away as Wyoming. On September 27th, Governor Brown signed legislation that recognizes the state’s watersheds as part of it’s infrastructure. Just as the state’s canals and levees need maintenance and repair, so do our rivers and watersheds. (American Rivers)
A portable water tank that takes under 10 minutes to assemble has won the international Aid Innovation Challenge. The Pak Flat Tank, which can be packed flat and is easily transportable, was developed by GreenCo Water with the aim to provide practical water storage solutions for areas with poor water access. (AWA)
The Water Challenge is WaterAid's annual event, coinciding with World Water Day on 22nd March. Signing up people like you from all over Australia to take a Water Challenge and ask your friends and family to sponsor you along the way. Every dollar you raise will help some of the world’s poorest families get access to clean, safe water. Join up now, have fun and improve your health for a great cause. Registration
for the Water Challenge is free.
CRC for Water Sensitive Cities
Congratulations go to Ruth Morgan (project A2.1) for winning a Western Australian Premier’s Book Award for her book “Running Out? Water in Western Australia”. In her book, Ruth discusses the past Western Australian fascination with lush green gardens that sits at odds with the region’s mainly desert landscape. This environmental history perspective of our cities offers a new understanding of the past and questions the way we approach an uncertain future in a drying climate.
This research helps us to understand which water terms are more or less community-friendly: in other words, which words are actually understood and used by community members.
This report describes the domestic water cultures that emerged in three Australian cities following the Millennium drought. The research found that water restrictions and the sense of water crisis in Brisbane and Melbourne instilled a strong water-conservation ethos. In contrast, access to desalination plants in Perth de-emphasised personal water-conservation responses.
Stormwater runoff in Australia provides a potentially valuable water source that remains underused despite the growing pressure on groundwater and potable water. Concerns about possible contaminants in the untreated urban runoff see most of it disappear down the drain with little benefit to people or landscapes. At the same time, not knowing how different land uses impact on stormwater runoff makes it difficult to regulate. What’s in the runoff depends on where the rain falls and where it is collected; but are there discernible trends that could help standardise stormwater treatments to minimise threats to human health?
The redevelopment of Gum Scrub Creek – which incorporates a demonstration of CRCWSC research – has won the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects National Award of Excellence 2016 in the Land Conservation Category.