ACT Healthy Waterways Program

The ACT Healthy Waterways program is tackling water pollution in the ACT’s waterways.

Initially a joint initiative of the ACT and Commonwealth governments, ‘Stage 1’ of the program was formed to protect and improve long-term water quality in the ACT and further downstream in the Murrumbidgee River system. ‘Stage 2’ is an extension of the program that is fully funded by the ACT Government.

Improvements to water quality are designed to:

  • enhance the amenity of our lakes, ponds, streams and rivers
  • create opportunities for recreation
  • boost economic activity associated with our lakes and ponds
  • expand the habitat available for local native aquatic plants and animals
  • contribute to reducing urban heat
  • enhance appreciation of First Nations values associated with waterways and strengthen the connection of First Nations people to Country.

20 water quality ‘assets’ – ponds, wetlands, rain gardens and channel restorations – were built in Stage 1 by 2019, and up to 13 further assets will be delivered under Stage 2 by the end of 2023. These will reduce the amount of nutrients, sediment and pollutants entering our waterways.

On top of innovative infrastructure projects, the current ACT Healthy Waterways program funds:

Between 2023 and 2025, findings and lessons learned from these projects will be incorporated into catchment plans for Lake Tuggeranong, Lake Burley Griffin, Lake Ginninderra, Yerrabi pond, the Naas-Gudgenby River and possibly one other rural river. The catchment plans will outline options to meet specific water quality targets or objectives for waterbodies. They will be developed with inputs from First Nations people and interested members of the community.