A NSW utility has won an award for their innovative stormwater management at the 2015 International Water Sensitive Urban Design Conference in Sydney.

WaterNSW received the award recognising ‘Excellence in Policy or Education’ in the management of stormwater.

WaterNSW Chief Executive Officer, David Harris, said, “The sustainable management of stormwater is an important issue for WaterNSW because if not managed effectively, it can impact on water quality in local waterways”.

WaterNSW won the award for the ‘Evaluation of Council’s Stormwater Management Practices’ project, which was a joint partnership with eight local councils and Molino Stewart to continuously improve the management of stormwater practices.

The project covers the declared catchment (formerly the Sydney drinking water catchment), an area of approximately 16,000 square kilometres that extends from north of Lithgow to the source of the Shoalhaven River near Cooma in the south; from Woronora in the east to the source of the Wollondilly River near Crookwell in the west.

“To most effectively protect water quality in the declared catchment we have adopted a multi-barrier approach and work continually to develop and deliver programs to help reduce risks to water quality,” Mr Harris said.

The Priority Pollutants Program is a leading initiative, where WaterNSW works with councils in the catchment to target reductions in water quality risks posed by stormwater runoff.

Mr Harris said from the outset, the success of this project is due to the positive collaboration between WaterNSW and the councils of Blue Mountains, Goulburn Mulwaree, Lithgow, Palerang, Shoalhaven, Upper Lachlan, Wingecarribee and Wollondilly.

“Our approach has been to identify gaps and work with councils to implement best management practices by providing training and raising awareness within councils and the broader community.

“Through robust evaluation and benchmarking we have achieved our aim to accelerate the uptake of best practice stormwater management, including the implementation of integrated water cycle management and water sensitive urban design.

“The award we have won acknowledges and celebrates the innovative work being undertaken by WaterNSW and councils to develop and manage stormwater projects,”Mr Harris said.

Jessica Dickers is an experienced journalist, editor and content creator who is currently the Editor of Utility’s sister publication, Infrastructure. With a strong writing background, Jessica has experience in journalism, editing, print production, content marketing, event program creation, PR and editorial management. Her favourite part of her role as editor is collaborating with the sector to put together the best industry-leading content for the audience.

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