Essential Environmental has been making multiple waves in the last month, being featured in both Issue 8 of WALGA’s Eco News as part of our work for the City of Albany addressing local flooding issues, and on the FRONT PAGE of the September issue of the Australian Water Association’s journal ‘water’ with Shelley’s feature article on the value of urban water planning!
The WA Local Government Association (WALGA) is a private lobbying and advocacy organisation which represents the interests of the 139 Local Governments in the State. WALGA works with a group of preferred suppliers, of which Essential Environmental is one, to provide goods and services to Local Governments collectively. WALGA’s Eco-News is a monthly publication which provides the latest environmental news, views, events and projects from the Association and Local Governments around the state. Issue 8 (September 2014) included an article on the City of Albany’s Drainage Planning in Yakamia Creek, which described the flooding issues connected to Yakamia Creek that Essential Environmental addressed through the preparation of an Arterial Drainage Plan for Yakamia Creek, and a Water Management Strategy for the Yakamia/Lange structure plan area (read THIS previous blog article for more information).
In the September 2014 edition of ‘water’ Shelley argues the need for good urban water planning through the delivery of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) in WA as part of all land use planning and development. Better Urban Water Management (WAPC, 2008) is examined as a framework to achieve better management and use of urban water resources by ensuring that an appropriate level of consideration is given to the water cycle at each stage of the planning system, for both greenfield and infill projects. Shelley also takes a look at the issues hindering its implementation since its publication six years ago. In particular, how urban water management is being increasingly seen as just an approval requirement with limited integration with the planning and design process, and the difficulty of successfully engaging and educating all stakeholders including engineers, planners, landscape architects, contractors, asset managers and parks staff. Shelley also explains that the level of support for WSUD is also impacted by the lack of data demonstrating the performance of individual WSUD treatment systems under Western Australian conditions, however, this is beginning to be addressed by the work being undertaken by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities – of which Essential Environmental has recently become a SME (small-medium enterprise) Associate!
And to top it all off, Essential Environmental director Helen Brookes has recently been appointed Chairperson of the Stormwater Industry Association WA branch. The Stormwater Industry Association is a national not-for-profit industry association which promotes sustainable urban water management through the management of stormwater. Membership is drawn from from local government, product suppliers, engineering professionals and the wider consulting industry.
Well done Helen and Shelley for their commitment to good urban water planning!