Department of the Environment

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Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Urban Water experts meet in Adelaide

Media release
17 February 2011

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, today met with the Urban Water Stakeholder Reference Panel in Adelaide to discuss stormwater harvesting and reuse and recent developments in urban water across Australia.

Senator Farrell and the panel - which consists of urban water experts from across Australia, including two members from South Australia – visited a number of stormwater harvesting and reuse projects in Adelaide.

"As we’ve seen in recent weeks, Australia is a land of extremes – investing in stormwater harvesting and reuse enables us to better prepare for Australia’s variable climatic conditions," Senator Farrell said.

"Adelaide is at the forefront of efforts to capture and reuse stormwater. "Today we have been to stormwater harvesting and reuse projects at Parafield Airport, Unity Park, Stebonheath Park and Tea Tree Gully.

"These innovative projects use stormwater to irrigate parklands, maintain quality sports grounds and provide for healthy wetlands and estuaries, and demonstrate what can be achieved to secure urban water supplies when all levels of government work together."

The Parafield Airport project site will be the hub of a three-year research project into managed aquifer recharge and urban stormwater use options, which is receiving $1.7 million in Australian Government funding through the National Water Commission’s Raising National Water Standards program and is also being funded by the South Australian Government.

The project, which will be conducted by CSIRO and the Goyder Institute for Water research, will provide water managers and the community with the comprehensive information they need to be confident in making decisions on harvesting and storing stormwater for future reuse.

It will develop a national approach to assessing stormwater and managed aquifer recharge options, which can be applied around Australia to advance the use of stormwater as an additional water supply source.

"These meetings provide a great opportunity to access the expertise of the panel, and share with them the experience gained in Adelaide," Senator Farrell said.

The panel also heard about recent research investments made by the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination and the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence.

The Urban Water Stakeholder Reference Panel provides practical advice on Australian Government urban water policies and programs.