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City West Water has completed a $1.78 million stormwater harvesting project to capture and distribute stormwater runoff to irrigate Fitzroy North’s Edinburgh Gardens.

Co-funded by City West Water and Yarra City Council, an extra 20 million litres of drinking water will be saved per year following upgrades to the park’s existing stormwater harvesting scheme to collect, treat and use diverted stormwater runoff that would have otherwise been washed down the drain.

Works involved installing a one million litre underground water tank and upgrading existing pipeline and pumping infrastructure to increase the system’s stormwater collection capacity from four million litres to 24 million litres. 

City West Water’s General Manager of Strategy and Planning, Richard Smith, said, “Stormwater harvesting projects support healthy green spaces, improve liveability for our community and lessen the demand on the city’s drinking water.

“More people than ever are visiting our parks and we’re committed to partnering with stakeholders to invest in and drive innovative projects such as this that support thriving open spaces for our community to enjoy.”

Yarra City Council Mayor, Gabrielle de Vietri, said, “These improvements will not only keep Edinburgh Gardens green and lush all year long, they will improve water quality and help us reach our ambitious water reduction targets.”

Acting Water Minister, Richard Wynne, said, “As our climate continues to get drier and our population expands, we need to make the use of all sources of water including stormwater to support our growing suburbs and towns. 

“This project is a great example of what is being achieved under the state’s integrated water management program. Investment in water infrastructure is an investment in a bright and healthy future for all Victorians.”

The Edinburgh Gardens project was co-funded as part of City West Water’s Stormwater Harvesting Partnering Fund. The fund won top category honours at the Premier’s Sustainability Awards in 2020 for developing innovative stormwater harvesting initiatives that increase green spaces in Melbourne’s north-west and lessen the demand on the city’s drinking water.

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