More than $8 million has been invested by one Queensland utility in the past year to improve the health of drinking water catchments in the state’s south east.
Seqwater CEO Neil Brennan said the business had been working with conservation groups, natural resource management, local governments and landholders to deliver its program of catchment improvement works.
“In the 2019-20 financial year, Seqwater has invested about $8.2 million in catchment management, with about $5 million allocated to partnership projects,” Brennan said.
“These projects have taken place across a number of catchments across SEQ and include: riparian weed control and revegetation work, landslip remediation and bank stabilisation, onsite wastewater system upgrades and other on-farm improvements.
“This work with the community to restore our drinking water sources and protect water quality is going a long way to creating a safer, more reliable and cost-effective water supply.”
The program invested in the control of heavy infestations of cats claw vine and other priority weed species, as well as the delivery of catchment improvement works in the Lake Baroon catchment, the Mary River, the South Maroochy River and the Lake Macdonald catchment.
Other works included efforts to address the impacts of on-site wastewater systems in two drinking water catchments through awareness and grants programs, and implementing on-farm improvement works in the Mid Brisbane River catchment.
Brennan said the utility’s catchments were some of the most highly-developed in Australia, including farmland, rural properties, degraded waterways, industrial facilities and growing townships.
“Seqwater owns less than 5% of the 1.8 million hectares of catchment lands. Water treatment starts in our catchments and Seqwater works hard with the community to improve catchment health and protect the quality of water entering our water treatment plants,” he said.
“Through working with established catchment groups across the region to carry out these projects, it’s allowed Seqwater to tap into local knowledge and better connect with the communities we serve.”
Seqwater’s partnership program has also enhanced the provision of economic, environmental and social benefits for communities and businesses, Brennan said.
“It has never been more important to continue to invest in the health of our drinking water supply catchments and support the future economic, social and environmental health of our region,” he said.
“At Seqwater we are committed to our ongoing catchment partnership program.”