We need water to survive. We also use it for recreation and our well being. That's why the ACT Government is committed to improving water quality in the Territory and making sure we have a sustainable supply of high quality water.
Recent water quality issues in Canberra’s lakes have reinforced that we need a more coordinated approach to catchment management. That's what the 30 year ACT Water Strategy 2014-44 is about.
The Strategy brings all those involved in the ACT and region together to work on managing our water and improving catchment health. This work involves using water monitoring and decision support tools to help us plan and make sound investment decisions.
The strategy will see the:
- Implementation of the recommendations of the Water Sensitive Urban Design Review
- Delivery of the ACT Basin Priority Project, jointly funded the ACT Government and Australian Governments
ACT Basin priority project
The $85 million ACT Basin Priority Project is about improving the long-term water quality in the ACT Murrumbidgee River System.
The project, funded by ACT Government and Australian Government will be delivered in two phases:
- Phase 1 implementing a comprehensive ACT-wide water quality monitoring program, focusing on six priority catchments. Due to be complete by February 2016.
- Phase 2 potentially designing and building water quality intervention infrastructure and/or augmenting water quality assets to address the issues identified in Phase 1 (with some actions requiring Australian Government agreement). Due to be complete by March 2019.
Water sensitive urban design
We need our urban environment to be resilient to climate change. Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is a way of planning cities to minimise water runoff and ensure any runoff causes the least amount of damage.
One priority of the ACT Water Strategy is to integrate water cycle management and green infrastructure into urban planning to slow runoff and ameliorate flooding. Implementing effective WSUD is essential for this.
Apart from social, environmental, and economic benefits, WSUD can help us reduce the impact of climate change including unpredictable rainfall, flash flooding and heat waves.
The ACT Government developed the ACT Water Strategy 2014-44 to manage our water resources over 30 years. It covers all water management activities including catchment management, stormwater and flood management, water supply and services, recreational water use and public health.
Through the Strategy the ACT Government will continue to respond to climate change.
The Strategy aims to achieve three outcomes:
- healthy catchments and waterbodies
- sustainable and efficiently used water supply
- community that values and enjoys its water