ACT’s biggest water quality infrastructure project reaches completion

The territory’s biggest ever water quality infrastructure project, the $93.5 million ACT Healthy Waterways Project, has been delivered on time and on budget, with the finishing touches expected in coming weeks.

The Project was a joint initiative of the Australian and ACT governments to improve water quality in the Murray-Darling Basin.

The Project’s 20 infrastructure assets have the biggest footprint of any water quality infrastructure project ever undertaken in the ACT.  These assets will improve water quality in the ACT’s lakes, as well as the Molonglo and Murrumbidgee rivers and the broader Murray–Darling Basin.

Over the next two years’ establishment period, the community will see the assets settle into their environment, as the over half a million plants growing in them help to filter the water and beautify the surrounds.

The Project also involved significant education, monitoring and research.

H2OK: Keeping Our Waterways Healthy, a fantastic education program, targeted households and businesses with its message of ‘Only rain down the stormwater drain’. Nearly 1000 stencils on footpaths all over the ACT help to remind us all that stormwater flows into our lakes and waterways.

Waterwatch has also seen over 200 volunteers monitoring 232 waterway sites across the ACT and the surrounding region. It has submitted it’s 25,000th water quality record since the citizen science program began in 1995, with almost half collected in the last four years, since ACT Healthy Waterways provided additional funding.

Research into sources of stormwater pollution and how pollutants behave in our lakes and ponds is helping the territory to better understand how to manage water quality.

Further research will continue to look at management interventions for Lake Tuggeranong with the aim of reducing blue green algal blooms.

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