Focusing on our urban water management for healthier waterways and communities

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Siwan Lovett, Australian River Restoration Centre

Geoff Vietz and Steve Clarke from Streamology, highlight the need for us to turn our attention to our urban waterways where the majority of our population live, work and play…

In the Australian waterway industry, we tend to focus on our rural waterways for river protection, rehabilitation and restoration, but if we are serious about connecting people with healthy rivers, then Australia’s urban settings should be our focus. It is near urban waterways that the majority of our population reside, yet these waterways are significantly degraded by the effects of landuse. The problem is that conventional drainage has the objective of sending rainfall from urban catchments as quickly as possible to the waterway. Yet in a drying climate don’t we want to retain water in cities?  If so, then we need to better link urbanisation to streamflow changes and the social, ecological and physical values of waterways. By doing this we may address waterway condition and water supply in urban catchments.

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