CANBERRA’S biggest clean water program is now complete after 20 healthy waterway projects were done across Canberra, according to ACT Senator Zed Seselja and ACT Environment Minister Mick Gentleman.
Mr Gentleman says the $93.5million initiative is world-leading, in terms of size and scope, saying it also had the biggest footprint of any water quality infrastructure initiate, filtering pollutants from stormwater, ever undertaken in the ACT.
“The Isabella Plains rain garden, for example, is the largest in the southern hemisphere,” he says.
Senator Seselja says this was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to significantly improve the water quality in the ACT’s lakes, as well as the Molonglo and Murrumbidgee rivers and the broader Murray–Darling Basin.
“Clean water is essential for life, not just for us, but for all the wildlife and plants that depend on it,” he says.
“Clean water is also a vital resource for households and businesses in the ACT and downstream in the Murray–Darling Basin.”
During the initiative, a team from the University of Canberra, led by Dr Fiona Dyer, conducted research to inform management of water quality in Lake Tuggeranong.
They investigated the sources of stormwater pollution, how pollutants behave in lakes and ponds and how to manage water quality in Lake Tuggeranong and other urban lakes.
“This research by the University of Canberra will continue to look at management interventions for Lake Tuggeranong with the aim of reducing blue green algal blooms,” Mr Gentleman says.
The project also included significant education, monitoring and research and, by the end of June, Mr Gentleman says there will be nearly 1000 stencils on footpaths all over the ACT reminding Canberrans 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,” he says.