ACT Healthy Waterways Project

The ACT Healthy Waterways Project is a joint initiative of the Australian and ACT governments to protect and improve long-term water quality in the ACT and further downstream in the Murrumbidgee River system.

Part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and with a budget of over $80 million, the project will reduce the level of nutrients, sediment and pollutants entering our lakes and waterways.

It involves the construction of a range of infrastructure - ponds, wetlands, rain gardens and swales as well as creek restoration and channel reconnection - designed to ‘turn off’ or reduce the amount of nutrients, sediment and pollutants entering our waterways. The focus is on improving water quality higher up in the catchment where rainwater becomes stormwater.


Up to 25 projects (including in lake research) have been identified across six priority catchments:

A carefully balanced combination of factors was considered when selecting the projects, underpinned by thorough scientific research and consultation with technical experts, government and the broader community. The factors considered included:

  • the predicted water quality outcomes each option would generate
  • the cost of building and maintaining infrastructure over its lifetime
  • potential environmental impacts and site-specific practical constraints
  • broader economic costs and benefits, social values and community preferences (PDF 1.85MB).

Construction on many of the projects will begin in 2017.