ACT stormwater program gets the green light

ACT stormwater program gets the green light

17.06.2016 - Posted by David Barratt

Canberra's lakes and waterways are under increasing pressure, largely due to urban development, past land and water management regimes, climate change, and a general lack of awareness about the kinds of activities that have an impact on water quality. In particular, stormwater pollution poses a risk to public health and aquatic life and threatens the many social, economic and environmental benefits that lakes and waterways offer. The ACT Basin Priority Project was initiated to improve long-term water quality in the ACT’s lakes and waterways, and the overall environmental health of the Murrumbidgee River system.

Along with other consultants and scientific experts, Alluvium has been working with the ACT Government for over two years now on a number of projects related to improving water quality in catchments in the ACT. Alluvium played a key role in supporting the ACT Government in development of a business case for the construction of around $80 million of stormwater treatment infrastructure to improve the water quality in designated priority catchments. 

Investigations over the last 18 months have included significant engineering and scientific analysis and community consultation to identify the most effective water quality treatments in priority catchments in the ACT, taking into account each catchment’s different characteristics and the environmental impacts, community preferences, and cost-benefit analyses of the interventions.
The final priority list of water quality treatments includes a mix of new wetlands, ponds, rain gardens, creek restoration, swales, gross pollutant traps and the potential use of stormwater for irrigation. This infrastructure represents the best and most balanced outcomes for the ACT, improving water quality, protecting the Murray-Darling Basin for future generations and providing more quality recreational areas for ACT residents. The next phase of the work involves more detailed engineering designs and further community consultation and development approvals, followed by construction which is scheduled to be complete by mid 2019.