Welcome to New WAter Ways

After a mild start to the year, it is hotting up as we head towards Australia Day...and the New WAter Ways activities are hotting up too! We have loads of opportunities planned to help WA transition towards a water sensitive city, including our first field tour to WGV at the end of February, a truly great example of water sensitive principles in action.  We are also kicking off our WSUD training sessions and have another site tour to the Hartfield Park MAR project in March....with many more activities in the pipeline. Keep reading to find out more.
Happy Australia Day everyone!


2016 was Australia's fourth-warmest year on record, while national rainfall was above average

2016 was Australia's fourth-warmest year on record (the national observational dataset commences in 1910). Australia’s area-averaged mean temperature for 2016 was 0.87 °C above the 1961–1990 average. Maximum temperatures were 0.70 °C above average, and minimum temperatures were 1.03 °C above average. Minimum temperatures were the second-warmest on record behind +1.16 °C in 1998. (BoM)


Australia’s climate in 2016 – a year of two halves as El Niño unwound

For Australia’s climate, 2016 was a year of two halves. The year started with one of the strongest El Niño events on record in place in the Pacific Ocean, and the opening months of 2016 were generally hot and dry, especially in northern and eastern Australia. From May onwards there was a dramatic change in the pattern, with heavy rain and flooding a regular feature of the middle months of the year. Overall temperatures were the fourth warmest on record in 2016, capping off Australia’s hottest decade. We track these events and more in the Bureau of Meteorology’s annual climate summary released recently. (The Conversation)


Western Australia river flows increased six fold

Parts of Western Australia have benefited from river flows up to six times greater than those of last year's dry winter, a recent report shows. The Department of Water's climate and streamflow assessment shows boosts to many of the state's key southwest river systems, said Executive Director Science and Planning Greg Claydon. (AWA)


New Water Corporation chairman

Water Minister Mia Davies has welcomed Michael Hollett as the new chairman of the Water Corporation board. (DPC Media Statements)


Groundwater Protection Policy gazetted

A revised State Planning Policy 2.3 – Jandakot Groundwater Protection (SPP 2.3) was gazetted on 11 January 2017. SPP 2.3 aims to protect the Jandakot Groundwater Protection Area from development and land uses that may have a detrimental impact on the water resource. (DoP)


$20 million program driving water innovation

Water Minister Mia Davies has announced a $20 million competitive grants program to drive investment in innovative water use for irrigated agriculture. (DPC Media Statements)


Groundwater map finds a big welcome in Albany

New options for irrigation and drinking water supplies from aquifers in the Albany hinterland have been welcomed by our regional stakeholders. (DoW)


$11.5 million for WA groundwater investigations

Water Minister Mia Davies has announced funding of $11.5 million to increase the State's commitment to expand irrigated agriculture through groundwater investigations. (DPC Media Statements)


WA pushes major water boost in remote communities

Water services in ten remote Aboriginal communities will receive an historic upgrade under a West Australian government program. The communities in the Kimberley and Pilbara will be the first of the state’s larger communities to have basic services, including power and municipal services, brought up to minimum standards. (AWA)


Kojonup gets boost to non-potable water supply

State Government recently announced funding for the Shire of Kojonup to boost the town's availability of non-potable water supplies. $66,000 would be made available through the Watering WA Towns program to refurbish the town's showground dam and catchment infrastructure. (DPC Media Statements)


New global water atlas reveals winners and losers in surface water

Oceania is the world's only continental region to record a net decrease in permanent water over the past three decades, international research has found. (AWA)


$37 million to refresh Wellington Dam

Premier Colin Barnett recently announced funding of $37 million to the Myalup-Wellington Water for Food project to address rising salinity levels at Wellington Dam and expand agricultural irrigation in the South-West. (DPC Media Statements)


Partnership signings get funds flowing to regional estuaries work

$4.35 million in funding is now flowing into the wellbeing of regional waterways after a suite of partnership signings with catchment groups under the Regional Estuaries Initiative. (DoW)


Gascoyne planning goes to next level

Exciting announcements in the irrigation and food production space were the topic of discussion in Carnarvon on 7 December when Water Minister Mia Davies released the draft Gascoyne Master Plan for public comment. (DoW)


Piawaning switches on new water supply

The Wheatbelt community of Piawaning has used a State Government grant and innovative reverse-osmosis desalination technology to secure a reliable local source of non-potable water for community and emergency uses. (DPC Media Statements)


Onslow wastewater treatment plant expanded

A $14.6 million upgrade to the Water Corporation's Onslow wastewater treatment plant is now complete, with the plant's capacity doubled to 870,000 litres per day. (DPC Media Statements)


City of Wanneroo – Draft Street Tree Policy

The draft City of Wanneroo Tree Species List is being provided to Landscape Architects, Planners and Engineers who work on City projects, as well as nursery industry members. The list will function as an addendum to the City’s draft Streetscapes policy. Preference is that it will be reviewed along with the draft Streetscapes and Tree Polices, (currently advertised on the City’s, with the closing date for comments being 31 January 2017). The closing date for comments on the Tree Species List is 9th February 2017. The Tree Species List has been created in Excel, and includes filters, allowing it to be used as a tool to provide for the quick selection of suitable species for specific uses. The idea is to work from left to right: for example if a species for a coastal access street with a standard footpath width is required, use the filter for both the coastal column and the 4.5m verge column. This reduces the list to show the species suitable for this purpose.


The Garden Gurus - A drying climate (You Tube)

Our climate is getting warmer with dwindling rainfall our dams are becoming drier, with Western Australia’s population expected to grow to 3.5 million by 2050 our water supplies will fade if continual steps are not taken to preserve our water provisions. Experts like Professor Anas Ghandouani and his team at CRS for water sensitive cities, work closely with the Water Corporation to research securing our water supplies.


Why we can get over the ‘yuck factor’ when it comes to recycled water

In light of climate change and a growing population, water authorities around the world are looking at the treatment of recycled water to achieve water security and sustainability. Recent authors on The Conversation have raised the possibility of expanding the use of water recycling in Australia, noting the potential benefits for domestic, agricultural and industrial water supply. Some contributors have noted that the major roadblocks to water recycling, in places where it could be beneficial, are not technical issues, but public reluctance to use recycled water. (The Conversation)


New research busts myths about water markets

Water markets – not physical infrastructure – might be the key to averting a global water crisis, argues an Australian National University researcher. (AWA)


Government launches register to track foreign water assets ownership

A new national register will bolster the country’s water resources management by taking an annual snapshot of foreign investments. The Federal Government has passed legislation that requires foreigners to inform the Australian Tax Office (ATO) of any water access entitlements they own. (AWA)


Water Services Amendment Regulations gazetted

Two amendments in relation to water servicing were gazetted this week. These include; the Water Agencies (Water Use) Amendment By-Laws 2016; and Water Services Legislation Amendment Regulations 2016. (UDIA)


What do you want to learn about WA plants, eco-gardening and native gardens? (Survey)

We at Boxed Green love receiving lots of questions about growing and selecting WA plants for gardens, understanding why eco-gardening is important for our local fauna and how to be more successful with native gardens. Our aim at Boxed Green is to encourage more and more people living in Western Australia to plant local plants. This is not just to make our gardens more beautiful and colourful, but also to support our local eco-system. Imagine if we all have WA plants in our garden! We'd be supporting birds, native bees, and all kinds of insects! (Boxed Green Team)


Watered down: what happened to Australia’s river swimming tradition?

Australia is world-famous as a swimming nation. We have a celebrated beach culture, not to mention more privately owned pools per person than any other country. Yet few urban Australians would consider swimming in their city’s river. Almost every major Australian city sits on the banks of a large river. But judging by online reactions to the suggestion of a dip in the Brisbane River, most people are worried about everything from ear infections to a painful death from brain-eating amoebae. (The Conversation)


Future vision: How water utilities can plan for an uncertain future

To better prepare for an “unknowable future”, water utilities should adopt scenario planning and adaptive planning approaches, a recent GHD and Melbourne Water project has recommended. (AWA)


Nature's remedy for blocking noise

As more and more people move to urban areas and our roads become more congested, 'sound scaping', or reducing noise with plants and trees is becoming increasingly important. Landscape architects are advocating for plants and trees to be used to reduce noise in a far more aesthetically pleasing way than traditional sound barriers. (202020 Vision)


2017 Water Challenge

Every minute, every day, people suffer and lives are lost needlessly because of a lack of safe water and sanitation. Help us end this global crisis and transform lives. Improve your health, and help provide lifesaving safe water to others. (WaterAid)


The Green View Index is comparing our global cities

Treepedia is a new platform that uses Google Street View panoramas to compare tree cover between several major global cities. The tool has been developed by Senseable City Lab, an MIT social innovation incubator, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. (202020 Vision)


CRC for Water Sensitive Cities

A more nuanced picture of urban hydrology opens doors for honing water sensitive urban design

Picture raingardens sprouting with plant life, constructed wetlands enjoyed by joggers and families, and vegetated swales that add greenery to the sides of roads. All of these elements bring aesthetic beauty to the landscape of a city. But by boosting its ability to absorb and filter stormflows, they are also multifunctional elements of water sensitive urban design (WSUD): the increasingly visible principle that underlies a Water Sensitive City.


Enhancing the economic evaluation of WSUD

A new research synthesis report adds to the CRCWCS’s growing portfolio of practical ideas for implementing water sensitive urban design (WSUD). Enhancing the economic evaluation of WSUDcollates much of the CRCWSC’s economics research on non-market values and advocates for an investment approach to economic evaluation that shifts the thinking from a focus on costs and risks to one of return-on-investment.


The capitalized value of rainwater tanks in the property market of Perth

In response to frequent water shortages, governments in Australia have encouraged home owners to install rainwater tanks, often by provision of partial funding for their installation. A simple investment analysis suggests that the net private benefits of rainwater tanks are negative, potentially providing justification for funding support for tank installation if it results in sufficiently large public benefits. However, using a hedonic price analysis we estimate that there is a premium of up to AU$18,000 built into the sale prices of houses with tanks installed.


Legal duties for restoration of waterways and wetlands: a Western Australian analysis and case study

In Australia, waterways and wetlands are mostly public resources, their beds and banks and flow of water vested in the Crown in the rights of the States.  Private rights in respect of water resources are regulated by public authorities under broad legislative powers. Yet many of these waterways and wetlands require significant ecological restoration. In this report, ‘restoration’ refers to the level or environmental baseline of water flow prior to human alterations in terms of dams and weirs for consumptive use.


New WAter Ways Events

New Water Ways Demonstration Tours


WGV – Water sensitive exemplar development

When: 9am – 12pm, Tuesday 28 February 2017
Where: White Gum Valley (Bus will depart and return to DoW, Perth)
Cost: $50 (incl GST)
“One Planet Living” – living within the limits of this planet’s available natural resources – has been at the core of the development of the 2.82 ha precinct in the City of Fremantle. Water, energy, community and biodiversity are all carefully considered in the planning of this development. Landcorp has created living spaces and communal use areas that address the needs of the ‘middle density’ dwellers. This bus tour will take attendees to consider four areas of the precinct: the public open space; a reengineered stormwater sump; Gen Y Housing and SHAC (affordable housing for artists and creatives by Access Housing); and Yalgoo Avenue verge tree and swale. Each area will be considered for its commitment to reduced and fit-for-purpose water use, energy efficiency, strengthening community living and enhanced biodiversity.
Places are limited and are on a first come first served basis. To book, please click here.

Hartfield Park Managed Aquifer Recharge – Foothills Water Proofing Project

When: 9am – 12pm, Wednesday 29 March 2017
Where: Hartfield Park Kalamunda (Bus will depart and return to DoW, Perth)
Cost: $50 (incl GST)
Addressing the pressures on increased water scarcity has been at the heart of research into supplementing natural groundwater resources. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is a process that uses waste water to recharge an aquifer – under controlled conditions. The results can have significant social, environmental and economic benefits.
Hartfield Park in the Shire of Kalamunda is where stormwater is extracted from an urban drain, filtered and re-injected it into the aquifer thereby increasing the Shire’s water allocation, and thus making the growing need for irrigated sports fields viable.
This New Water Ways bus tour will take attendees on a guided tour of the facilities and surrounding recreation fields for an in-depth look and discussion of MAR.
Places are limited so booking is essential. Click here to secure your seat.

New WAter Ways Training Sessions

New WAter Ways Training Sessions aim to provide introductory information on processes and concepts for local government and industry planners, engineers, landscape architects, asset managers and developers.
There are 7 training sessions. If you are new to the NWW training sessions, we suggest, if possible, attending them in the order they appear below:
  1. Better Urban Water Management - 21 February 2017
  2. Introduction to stormwater management practices - 21 March 2017
  3. Groundwater management for urban development – 23 May 2017
  4. Local water management strategies – how to get it right - 20 June 2017
  5. Biofilters – 25 July 2017
  6. Retrofitting for WSUD – 22 August 2017
  7. Maintenance – 19 September 2017
There is no cost for attendance at these sessions, however registration is essential as places are limited – Please email

Please visit the new page dedicated to the NWW training sessions here for full details of each training session.


Water Sensitive Cities Speaker Series

We are always looking for the latest in ideas, systems and treatments that involve all aspects of water. If you would like to present your findings, work or ideas as part of our Water Sensitive Cities Speaker Series, we would love to hear from you:

Other Events

Please visit the New WAter Ways website for current and upcoming events that have already been advertised in past newsletters.

The Design Rainfall Revision Project

When: 12 – 1.30 pm, Monday 13 February 2017
Where: Auditorium, Engineers Australia
Janice Green - Manager Water Accounting and Regulations Section & Project Director, IFD Revision Project - Bureau of Meteorology. Janice will provide a summary of the IFD revision project and present key changes to design rainfalls estimates and procedures. This will include discussion of the new 'very frequent' rainfall estimates that can be applied in water sensitive urban design. More


2017 Flood modelling course

When: 23-24 February, 2017
Where: Karstens Perth, 853 Hay St, Perth
Ideal for modelling floodplain extents, dam break, development impacts, hydraulic structures, coastal and marine environments, water quality, sedimentation, and numerous other applications, HEC-RAS 5.0 allows users to exchange input and results without licensing costs or constraints.


Introduction to Groundwater: Principles and Practices

When: 15-17 May, 2017
Where: Perth
The Introduction to Groundwater: Principles and Practices three day training event is the country's leading groundwater school for both new entrants to the industry and for current professionals seeking to update their skills or to move from a related discipline.


EIANZ 2017 Environmental Practitioners' Workshop - Sharing experiences in environmental practice

When: 26 May 2017
Where: Leederville Oval (Medibank Stadium), 246 Vincent St., Leederville
This workshop aims to be of interest to the entire environmental practitioner community including students, community conservation and landcare groups, professionals from all industries, regulators, local government and the public sector. Registrations will open in March 2017. Call for abstract closes 31 January 2017.

Shelley Shepherd
New WAter Ways
Phone: 0403 170 040

New WAter Ways presents this information in the spirit of keeping the water community up to date with relevant events and courses available to build technical expertise. This should not be seen as an endorsement by New WAter Ways or its partners in respect to the content or accuracy of any course or information presented. While every attempt is made to present accurate information on events, dates, scholarships, jobs etc no responsibility is taken for the accuracy of any of the information

New Water Ways represents a partnership of the Department of Water, Department of Planning, Western Australian Local Government Association, Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA)
and the Department of Parks and Wildlife (Rivers and Estuaries Division)

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New WAter Ways · PO Box 248, Leederville · Perth, WA 6903 · Australia

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