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eWater CRC — Science for the real world e-newsletter
Feature — 25 November 2011
Water quality win for Derwent Estuary
 Enable images to view A project completed under the Derwent Estuary Program (DEP) in Tasmania has won the ‘Tasmania WSUD’ award from the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

An integral part of Tasmania’s cultural, economic and natural heritage, the Derwent Estuary has some 200,000 people - 40 per cent of Tasmania’s population - living on its margins. The Derwent River supplies the majority of the region’s drinking water and is a major source of hydroelectric power.

Heavy metal contamination, stormwater pollution and loss of habitat and species are among the environmental issues affecting the health of the estuary. The DEP is charged with coordinating a strategic and coordinated planning approach across all levels of government, industry and the community to restore the estuary to health.

The DEP's award winning project, titled Improving Biodiversity and Water Quality in the Derwent Estuary, involved the application of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) at five high-profile sites around estuary.

A number of sites from different locations around the Derwent estuary were selected and analyzed for their suitability for retrofitting and establishment of WSUD initiatives. Using eWater's music software, comparative modelling of alternative design proposals for each site was carried out to determine their relative potential to contribute to improved stormwater quality outcomes, with design interventions ranked for future construction according to their assessed level of impact and achievability within that particular context.

While relatively modest in terms of overall size and budget, the jury commended the project for its analytical approach and design methodology, which provides valuable insights and support for broader-scale application, and which highlights the value of evidence-based landscape design processes for building community understanding and support for WSUD initiatives.

Photo: Derwent River from Poimenna Reserve (Tasmania, Australia), courtesy of JJ Harrison, Wikimedia Commons.

Read more about this project.

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