Labor Leader and Premier Elect, Mark McGowan has today announced the allocation of ministries for the incoming WA State Government. Congratulations to all, including Dave Kelly, the new Minister for Water.
Following the merger of the Swan River Trust and the Department of Parks and Wildlife, new statutory planning policies have been prepared to provide improved guidance and direction to proponents, referral agencies and the community. Two new policies have been adopted: Planning for dewatering affecting the Swan Canning DCA
(Policy 50) and Planning for wastewater management affecting the Swan Canning DCA
(Policy 51). These new policies are available here
The Drainage for Liveability Program is excited to release a fact sheet on Living Streams in Water Corporation assets. This fact sheet, jointly developed by the Department of Water and Water Corporation, provides basic technical information required to design and construct Living Streams in Water Corporation assets (new or enhanced, rural or urban). It is recommended to be used as guidance only, with each situation considered on its merits. Other drain owners are encouraged to use this as a basis for design however other documents may also be relevant and inform design. Click here
to download the fact sheet.
Guidance on changes to the Water Services Act
Following amendments made to the Water Services Regulations
in December 2016, the Water Corporation has now prepared guidance for industry on the changes that impact preliminaries to works for minor water services works. Changes brought about by the amendment to the regulations include: An exemption from the Pre-requisites to Works for working in road reserves; and a revised process for general works, with a focus on early engagement to better manage works proposed on private land. The guidance note on works in road reserves can be found here
, while a guideline for delivery of general works can be found here
. These documents provide information to assist developers and their consulting engineers when engaging with parties that may be impacted by such works. These guidelines will soon be made available on the Water Corporation website, here.
The Australian government has launched the National Science Statement, outlining its commitment to science as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda. This comes in advance of the 2030 Strategic Plan, with Innovation and Science Australia commissioned by the government to review Australia’s performance in science and innovation, and offer a plan up to 2030. Here leading scientists respond to the National Science Statement and the speech given today by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Arthur Sinodinos. (The Conversation)
Australia’s population growth and economic activity continue to pose major environmental challenges, according to a comprehensive five-yearly stocktake of the country’s environmental health. The federal government’s State of the Environment 2016 report (prepared by a group of independent experts), released today, predicts that population growth and economic development will be the main drivers of environmental problems such as land-use change, habitat destruction, invasive species, and climate change. (The Conversation)
The Australian water industry could play an important role in achieving secure, cheap and 100% renewable energy, an ANU study has shown. The paper – 100% renewable electricity in Australia – found wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) technology could meet 90% of National Electricity Market (NEM) demand. The remaining 10% could be delivered almost entirely via pumped hydro energy storage (PHES), plus a small amount of biomass. (AWA)
Residential water use in 2015–16 remained relatively consistent compared with previous years, increasing by only 1 per cent to 182 kL per property, according to a recent report released. (BOM)
A museum of water? This is the improbable concept which was featured in this year’s Perth International Arts Festival. The brainchild of British artist Amy Sharrocks, the Museum of Water traced the manifold ways that people relate to water. (The Conversation)
The Nightingale Model has now reached Western Australia, with EHDO Architecture obtaining a licence and pipping Sydney in securing land to develop a project. Nightingale Freo will be built on a site in the Knutsford precinct, a semi-industrial area a 10-minute walk from Fremantle city centre. EHDO plans to develop the site into a “small, mixed-use development” with about 12 apartments, 250 square metres of commercial space and a large communal area on the roof. (Fifth Estate)
New research from the National Environmental Science Programme has revealed that just over 100 of Australia's federally listed endangered animals live in cities or towns. Providing places of refuge in the form of quality urban green space is vital in ensuring their long-term survival. The increasing amount of living infrastructure (such as green roofs, green walls and nature overpasses) in our cityscapes provides safe spaces for smaller urban fauna such as bees, butterflies and birds, as well as larger mammals and reptiles. (The Guardian)
Pip Hildebrand, green infrastructure consultant at Do it on the roof has called upon local governments to be green infrastructure leaders in their local area by following these 6 key steps. Hildebrand highlights the various opportunities available to governments to maximise the benefits of green infrastructure on a city-wide scale. (202020 Vision)
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the water industry should consider using art to better articulate community input on water sustainability projects, said industry experts. (AWA)
Wastewater can be rapidly and cheaply purified using sunlight, an Australian-led research team has discovered. Many leading water purification products need ultraviolet light to work, but this new method uses modified titanium dioxide as a photocatalyst. (AWA)
An Australian-first use of glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) maintenance holes and jacking pipes has helped deliver a major water infrastructure project six months ahead of schedule. (AWA)
Collins Square, a commercial development in Melbourne, houses the largest and tallest indoor green wall in the Southern Hemisphere, provided by Fytogreen Australia. The impressive 52.9 metre living wall, used approximately 13,890 plants to provide a range of benefits to the building and its occupants. Over 16 species were used to provide a range of colours and textures, creating a lush vista for all offices spanning the 14 levels. (202020 Vision)
Australia’s summer is officially over, and it’s certainly been a weird one. The centre and east of the continent have had severe heat with many temperature records falling, particularly in New South Wales and Queensland. For much of the country, the heat peaked on the weekend of February 11-12, when many places hit the high 40s. That heatwave, which mainly affected NSW, was quickly attributed to climate change. But can we say whether the whole summer bore the fingerprint of human-induced climate change? Overall, Australia experienced its 12th-hottest summer on record. NSW had its hottest recorded summer. (The Conversation)
After several dry years, vegetation across much of Australia received much-needed rains in 2016. But this broad pattern of improvement belies some major environmental damage in parts of the country – particularly in Tasmania, which was scorched by bushfire, the Gulf Coast and Cape York, which missed out on the rains’ return, and on the Great Barrier Reef, which suffered massive coral bleaching. (The Conversation)
The Smart WaterMark scheme (SAWM), which labels water savings products and services, is extending its range to include products that improve water efficiency. (AWA)
Homes near green amenities are more desirable and more expensive because residents are willing to pay higher prices to gain the many benefits of green spaces. Our research has confirmed, for instance, that apartments near to the greenbelt in Vienna, Austria, are more expensive compared to otherwise similar apartments in that city. (The Conversation)
Water around the world....
With release of Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Moving Toward “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia launched a process to introduce a new way of thinking about nature’s assets into municipal infrastructure practice. EAP, the acronym for Ecological Accounting Protocol, is one of the twin technical pillars for the whole-system, water balance approach that would refocus business processes to properly manage watershed systems within the built environment. (WaterBucket)
As the planet warms, rainfall and weather patterns will change. As temperatures rise, the amount of water in the atmosphere will increase. Some areas will become wetter, while others, like southern Australia, will likely be drier. One measure of atmospheric moisture is called “precipitable water”. You may not have heard the term before, but will likely hear about it more often in the future. Both climate scientists and meteorologists are increasingly looking at it when studying weather charts. (The Conversation)
Finding the optimum environment and avoiding uninhabitable conditions has been a challenge faced by species throughout the history of life on Earth. But as the climate changes, many plants and animals are likely to find their favoured home much less hospitable. In the short term, animals can react by seeking shelter, whereas plants can avoid drying out by closing the small pores on their leaves. Over longer periods, however, these behavioural responses are often not enough. Species may need to migrate to more suitable habitats to escape harsh environments. (The Conversation)
CRC for Water Sensitive Cities
It’s official: 2016 was the hottest year on record. And rising temperatures, plus population growth, mean increased demand for water. To ensure future needs are met, effective environmental leadership is critical. And it’s organisations like South East Water, a partner of the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC), that are forging both new solutions and smarter management of existing natural resources.
Melbourne’s St Kilda Hall was recently abuzz with the launch of Swamped: a multidisciplinary exhibition of future water scenarios imagined through architectural expressions of community-envisioned solutions. Swamped uses the suburb of Elwood as a case study, and its official opening saw researchers and dignitaries discuss balancing resilience in future climate scenarios.
This report sets out methods for assessing performance of two biofilters (a raingarden and a bioretention basin) over a year, and makes recommendations for improved performance.