The 2019 Stormwater Victoria awards highlighted Melbourne Water’s commitment to working with the community, with the water provider a joint winner of the Excellence in Research and Innovation category for its Pollution Prevention Program – Enhancing Our Dandenong Creek project.

The Stormwater Victoria honour caps off a successful year for the Enhancing Our Dandenong Creek project, which won two national awards earlier in 2019.

Heath Baker and Sarah Watkins

Heath Baker and Sarah Watkins, who were involved with the Dandenong Creek project

The project was designed to improve amenity and liveability, reduce stormwater pollution, create habitats for native fish and manage the impact of non-compliant wet weather sewage outflows into the creek.

The first five-year program identified the real opportunities to establish programs, new monitoring technologies and a way of working together that over time, will ultimately improve water quality, and protect ecosystem health and public health and safety.

The Chain of Ponds Collaboration – Transforming the Moonee Ponds Creek Through Collective Action – claimed the award for Excellence in Strategic and Master Planning, and is breaking new ground in how Melbourne Water delivers waterway management.

Rather than sole organisations trying to implement another plan for a creek, this collaboration has established a new partnership model between organisations and community to drive change in a catchment which supports a healthier waterway.

In October 2018, an historic agreement to help transform the Moonee Ponds Creek was signed by 15 organisations to commit to the Chain of Ponds Collaboration and work together in finding lasting solutions for the catchment, which will transform the Moonee Ponds Creek into an iconic waterway for Melbourne that provides high social and environmental benefits.

The organisations who signed the Memorandum of Understanding include the City of Melbourne, City of Moonee Valley, Hume City Council, Moreland City Council, City West Water, Yarra Valley Water, the Victorian Planning Authority, Parks Victoria, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Kensington Association Living Colour Studio, Moonee Valley Bicycle User Group, Friends of Moonee Ponds Creek and Friends of Upper Moonee Ponds Creek.

The Stormwater Victoria Awards for Excellence were presented in conjunction with the 2019 Australian Water Association Victorian Awards.

Melbourne Water projects were also highly commended in the Excellence in Infrastructure and Excellence in Integrated Stormwater Design categories.

Melbourne Water also had a number of individual finalists in the 2019 AWA Victorian awards. Judy Blackbeard was nominated in the Research Innovation Award while Neil Featonby and Emily Phillips were both finalists for the Water Professional of the Year.

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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