The Ginninderry development in the ACT is a large scale development that will take up to 30 years and contribute 11,500 houses to the Canberra community. Such a large scale development has recognised impacts on the surrounding environment and waterways. In an effort to manage impacted local waterways, the development has implemented new approaches to managing site runoff and treatment through the installation of high efficiency sediment (HES) basins. The aim of the HES basins is to provide continuous water treatment, facilitate more effective management of site discharge, reduce the volume of chemicals used to treat the water and provide a more reliable water source for recycling on site.
To develop an understanding of the effectiveness of the HES basins on improving water quality of development runoff, the Centre for Applied Water Science (CAWS) has been undertaking frequent monitoring of water quality parameters including nutrients, metals, turbidity, pH and total suspended solids in both the development HES basin and the local stream where the water is discharged.
Stakeholder engagement has been both a key challenge and an opportunity in multiple facets of water quality management at Ginninderry. These facets include ensuring site users understand what water quality parameters represent; understanding the causes of changing water quality parameters onsite and implementing management actions both on the development site and in the downstream conservation corridor. Feedback mechanisms and effective communication have improved water management approaches onsite and resulted in actions that improve water quality outcomes.