The ACT Minister for the Environment, Simon Borbell, has launched a multi-million dollar stormwater harvesting network design for Lake Burley Griffin that is set to improve water quality both within the lake and downstream.
The Inner-North Reticulation Network will capture and treat urban stormwater in constructed wetlands before pumping it through a reticulation network, which could produce up to 500 megalitres of storm water each year to be utilised on large green open spaces in the inner north. This will replace the irrigation high-quality drinking water that was previously used.
“This is a prime example of water sensitive urban design that will improve water quality in Lake Burley Griffin, help the city adapt to climate change, and provide recreational facilities in the form of wetlands and green ovals,” Mr Corbell said.
“Such infrastructure slows stormwater runoff, helping to reduce peak flows during storms. It is expected to reduce sediment and nutrients in our waterways by over 50 per cent, thus contributing to better water quality.
“This is very important given the inner-north stormwater system spans the Sullivans Creek catchment, which feeds into Lake Burley Griffin and, ultimately, the Murrumbidgee River and Murray–Darling Basin.”
The stormwater is captured through the new constructed wetlands at Dickson, Lyneham and Flemington Ponds, which are healthy habitats for birds and other wildlife and provide space for recreation, education and community events.
“Using this water for irrigation has many benefits – it is cheaper than drinking water, the nutrients can reduce the need for fertiliser and the water can be captured for storage in an aquifer in the cooler months for use in summer.”