Twenty healthy waterways projects across Canberra have reached completion as part of the ACT Government’s $93.5 million Healthy Waterways initiative.

ACT senator, Zed Seselja, said the $85 million Federal Government investment was vital for water management in the ACT and the Murray–Darling Basin, announcing additional University of Canberra research to inform management of water quality in Lake Tuggeranong.

“This project represented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to significantly improve water quality in the ACT’s lakes, as well as the Molonglo and Murrumbidgee rivers and the broader Murray–Darling Basin,” Mr Seselja said.

“Projects such as this are only possible because of our strong economy, and I’m very proud to have been able to deliver this funding for Canberra.

“Clean water is also a vital resource for households and businesses in the ACT and downstream in the Murray–Darling Basin.”

ACT Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Mick Gentleman, said the 20 new assets had the biggest footprint of any water quality infrastructure initiate ever undertaken in the ACT and were filtering pollutants from stormwater.

“These projects are world leaders in terms of size and scope. The Isabella Plains rain garden, for example, is the largest in the southern hemisphere,” Mr Gentleman said.

“It’s a great credit to the project team responsible for design and construction that the project has been delivered on time and on budget, with finishing touches expected in coming weeks.

“Over the next two years’, the community will see the assets settle into their environment as over half a million plants grow in, helping to filter the water and beautify the surrounds.”

In addition, Dr Fiona Dyer from the University of Canberra has led a team of researchers as part of Healthy Waterways to investigate:

  • The sources of stormwater pollution
  • How pollutants behave in our lakes and ponds
  • How to manage water quality in Lake Tuggeranong and other urban lakes

Mr Gentleman said the Healthy Waterways project included significant education, monitoring and research.

“Public awareness activities are helping to prevent pollutants from entering waterways in the first place. H2OK: Keeping Our Waterways Healthy has been a fantastic education program targeting households and businesses with its message of ‘Only rain down the stormwater drain’,” Mr Gentleman said.

“By the end of June, there will be nearly 1000 stencils on footpaths all over the ACT reminding 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.

“I encourage everyone to do their part in helping to keep our waterways healthy by joining their local catchment group.”

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