Solve the quantity problem and the quality almost solves itself……
Water quality has been the focus for our stormwater industry for many years now
Ticking away in the background has always been the discussion on water quantities, but to date it really hasn’t got the “legs” to make significant or even policy based changes. Somehow the industry clearly sees the pollutant performance objectives (% retention of TSS, TP and TN plus reduction of gross pollutants) but seems to religiously miss the flow objectives. The CSIRO Best Practice Environmental Management Guidelines from 1999 clearly states “Maintain Discharges for the 1.5year ARI at predevelopment levels” but we don’t see the push for it in our developments or project requirements.
Industry leaders like Peter Coombes, John Argue and our own Rod Wiese have been continuously reminding the industry about the quantity of flows reporting to our natural water ways for decades, but we might just be getting headway. Kim Stephens from the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia was at the recent Stormwater Australia conference talking about just this topic, which clearly complemented Rod’s talk on “Why Best Practice is destroying our Waterways”. Now the media has picked it up and we are starting to see a wider audience stand up and listen. Check out Andrew Heaton’s article about a new approach to stormwater management where he interviews our own Rod Wiese on the importance of keeping the water quantity in check:
Stormwater Australia’s latest Bulletin also references this article in their latest edition with promises of future information to come:
Hopefully this is a sign of things to come as we learn to manage the flows reporting to our waterways and protect the entire aquatic environment.