Queensland's tranche 2 regional implementation projects
As part of the second tranche of activities, the QLD-RAP identified and prioritised a number of projects considered to be critical to the successful transition to a water sensitive region. These projects will inform the selection of the CRCWSC tranche 2 research activities from 2016/17.
A key focus for Queensland during the second tranche of activities in the CRCWSC will be to develop the Water Sensitive Cities Transition Strategy and Implementation Plan for South East Queensland.
QLD Regional Project 1: SEQ - A Water Sensitive Region
The aim of the Water Sensitive Cities Transition Strategy for SEQ project is to identify a common vision that encompasses the transition pathway and mechanisms needed for the region to become a water sensitive city. This vision will provide a clear and compelling narrative that explains the objectives and benefits of a water sensitive city.
SEQ already has many of the elements needed to create a water sensitive region, that is:
- the region is rich in waterways appreciated and highly valued by the local community;
- there is a good understanding of the water quality and environmental values of the region;
- SEQ has a networked water system and can make use of a wide variety of sources of water;
- there exists a solid understanding of the flood risks of the region;
- local industry and partners have the skills and capability to implement WSC principles and practices;
- the region is growing; and
- the time is right.
QLD Regional Project 2: Stormwater catchment management authority
The aim of this project is to produce a comprehensive Local Government Stormwater Management Entity feasibility study in South East Queensland. Project objectives will consider the elements and mechanisms required for success, including:
- governance and inter-municipal consensus;
- program concept and the compelling case;
- public and political education and support;
- financial policies and documents;
- a database development and accuracy, and customer service; and
- a database of existing stormwater assets, estimate maintenance costs.
QLD Regional Project 3: the University of Queensland living and learning laboratory
The aim of this project is to incorporate a "Living Laboratory" concept into the University of Queensland's (UQ) Master Plan, which will connect outputs from the CRCWSC and the key focus activities of UQ (i.e. learning, research engagement) with the physical development of the UQ St Lucia campus.
The objectives of this project are to:
- embed water sensitive cities' learning for students across the University's schools and faculties, as these are the next generation of built environment professionals, and learning in these areas will assist them to implement successful water sensitive city initiatives in the future;
- develop necessary competence into the future graduates and postgraduates, to enable them to be advocates for water sensitive cities;
- create learning opportunities that are interpretive, experimental, and collaborative, enhancing the learning process, and providing opportunities for industry-wide demonstration and collaboration; and
- consolidate UQ as a tropical and subtropical water sensitive cities centre of excellence, building on the University's Advanced Water Management Centre, and providing for the transition to a self-sustaining learning, research, and consulting body.
QLD Regional Project 4: Norman Creek Catchment Master Plan
The aim of this project is to create, within the Norman Creek catchment, an urban infill that provides:
- a catchment enjoyed for its subtropical open spaces, green transport options and healthy waterways;
- a place that celebrates water and is resilient during times of drought and flood;
- a creek reconnected with the Brisbane River and local waterways, bordered by safe and attractive wildlife corridors; and
- water smart communities that appreciate the integral role of water in sustaining life and managing it sustainably.
QLD Regional Project 5: Southbank precinct
The aim of this project is to provide a demonstration platform for transitioning a subtropical, multi-use precinct with numerous large institutions in close physical proximity that have large utility demands and/or generate significant waste, into a sustainable water sensitive precinct.
QLD Regional Project 6: Northern Tropics
Based on case studies located in the Townsville region, this project aims to address local challenges of creating water sensitive cities in a dry tropical setting where:
- a very high per-capita potable water use, combined with a failed wet season, has led to very low dam levels, and where severe water restrictions are imminent;
- given Townsville’s unique soils, rainfall, and vegetation (including weeds), making WSUD principles and structures work within the institutional context and regulatory regimes of North Queensland is more difficult;
- lowering the cost of infrastructure upgrades and operation in both point source (wastewater treatment plants) and diffuse source (stormwater) to manage water quality and quantity issues are considered;
- land-based activities impact on the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef which lies just off shore. This is a great asset to the community but there are challenges in regulation, high expectations and perceptions, and limited funding support and opportunities;
- Queensland’s second capital, Townsville City Council with over 190,000 people, has an expanding urban population; and
- competing priorities across social, economic and environmental are considered.