Improving water quality

How can we improve water quality?

One approach is to integrate water sensitive urban design (WSUD) into established urban areas and new developments.

In basic terms, WSUD reduces run-off and removes pollutants from stormwater. It slows water down, allowing it to naturally soak into the ground water where it is filtered and even re-used.

The ACT Government has integrated WSUD principles into new developments and constructed new water infrastructure, like wetlands and ponds, in older more established suburbs. The ACT Healthy Waterways Project has resulted in the construction of 20 additional water quality treatments across the ACT and region.

You can play a role too. Every house in Canberra is uphill from our waterways so every drop of water we use as well as all the rainwater that falls, ends up in the lakes. Think about stormwater at your own home. Tanks are a great way to catch and use rainwater before it becomes run-off and you can even create your own rain garden to slow water down and give it a chance to soak into the ground.

Next winter, when all the leaves fall off our beautiful deciduous trees, rake them up and add them to the compost instead of leaving them to be washed away into our lakes.

For more ideas about what you can do to improve water quality, check out H2OK – Keeping our waterways healthy.