Water quality tops the list

Water quality has come out as the top priority in the Better Suburbs Statement 2030, a document produced as a result of an innovative approach to community engagement which included a Citizen’s Forum.

The Forum highlighted the need to future-proof our lakes, wetlands, ponds and stormwater systems through a strategic increase in capital expenditure as well as operational funding to maintain assets.

Forum delegates were drawn from the community. They identified three key areas:

  • The renewal of existing ageing infrastructure and naturalisation of waterways to support water quality, visual amenity, and management of stormwater flows.
  • The implementation of water harvesting systems to support drought-proofing and as a revenue opportunity, for example replicating the Inner North Reticulation Network model across Canberra.
  • The implementation of improved street sweeping technologies.

The ACT and Australian governments are already investing $93.5 in water quality infrastructure, research, education and improved monitoring through the ACT Healthy Waterways Project.

Projects – including wetlands, ponds and rain gardens - are either under construction or about to start on 19 sites around the ACT and one across the border in Queanbeyan.

Recent research has shed some light on the water quality issues in Lake Tuggeranong and residents would have noticed the stencilling on footpaths reminding us all that the stormwater system is directly connected to our creeks, lakes and rivers.

Work also continues on implementing a more effective water monitoring program to provide more accurate data that can be used to predict how changes in land use affect water quality.