GOAL Respect the natural environment
Water Quality

OBJECTIVE — Maintain water quality and availability

Water resources management is a key sustainability issue that will influence the type and extent of future development within the ACT and surrounding NSW. Think water, act water: a draft strategy for sustainable water resources management (2003) provides the broad direction, targets and objectives for the management of ACT water resources.

Policy response
  • The Spatial Plan supports the initiatives of the ACT water strategy in that it proposes an urban form and structure that ensures existing and possible future potable water catchment areas are protected.
  • Urban areas are designed and managed to protect water quality in the receiving waters of the Molonglo and Murrumbidgee Rivers and ultimately the Murray–Darling River system.
  • The ACT is committed to working with NSW State and Local Governments to ensure coordinated land use on both sides of the ACT border which encourage sustainable development and catchment protection.
  • To assist in the implementation of the Spatial Plan a Regional Management Framework will be developed to ensure cooperative management of critical issues. The ACT Government will also participate in the development of the Sydney-Canberra Corridor Strategy.
  • Amendments will be made to the sustainable development design guidelines to ensure that new developments and redevelopment meet water sensitive urban design standards, including for:
  • improved stormwater runoff quality; and
  • reduced peak flow and volumes of urban stormwater runoff.
  • Any development in the Molonglo Valley will introduce water quality management approaches which treat the stormwater currently flowing from the Weston Creek and Woden catchment areas as well as from the new urban development areas.
  • The water quality in ACT rivers, lakes and aquifers protected to maintain and enhance environmental, amenity, recreational and designated use values and the health of people in the ACT and downstream.
  • Rivers and streams maintained in a condition that supports threatened fish and riparian habitats.
Monitoring indicators
  • The quality of water leaving the ACT in comparison with water entering the ACT.
  • The quality of groundwater in relation to the extent and severity of pollution.
  • The quality of groundwater in relation to extent and severity of salinity.
  • The number of water quality monitoring sites for which water quality has been assessed as good, moderate and poor compared with standards.
  • Proportion of length of rivers and streams that support:
  • threatened fish, and
  • native vegetation.