The ACT’s water resources management strategy

The public consultation for the Draft ACT Water Strategy 2013 is now closed. The revised strategy, Water for the Future – Striking the Balance, continues to build on many of Think water, act water achievements while revaluating some priorities and modifying and reassessing others. In the interim, Think water, act water is still the ACT Water Strategy until the revised strategy is finalised.

In June 2002, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Legislative Assembly unanimously agreed that:

  • as far as possible, the building of further water dams in the ACT should be avoided;
  • the water leaving the ACT via the Murrumbidgee River should be of no less quality than the water flowing into the ACT;
  • adequate flows should be maintained in the ACT’s waterways to maintain their environmental values; and
  • an ACT water conservation and reuse strategy should be developed to ensure that the water needs of any increase in population can be met, as far as possible, within existing resources.

Building on Water ACT, a policy document released in July 2003, Think water, act water – a strategy for sustainable water resource management, was released in April 2004.

The strategy was developed with extensive community consultation, input from a range of experts, and collaboration with relevant government agencies. It takes a catchment perspective and focuses on the integration of stormwater, water supply and wastewater elements, to address key targets that include:

  • reducing per capita use of mains (drinking supply) water by 12 per cent by 2013, and 25 per cent by 2023;
  • increasing wastewater reuse from 5 per cent to 20 per cent by 2013;
  • ensuring the level of nutrients and sediments entering ACT waterways is no greater than from a well-managed rural landscape; and
  • reducing the intensity and volume of urban stormwater flows to pre-development equivalents.

Key points include:

  • improve water use efficiency
  • reduce water quality impacts
  • enhance ecological values in waterways
  • protect recreational and amenity value.

The 2003 and 2004 strategy documents are the keystones in the ACT Government’s bid to ensure a long-term and secure water supply for the Territory and its residents.

Download the strategy documents

Think water, act water – a strategy for sustainable water resource management is produced in three volumes. A summary document is also available.

Summary Think water, act water: 456kb pdf pdf

Volume 1 Think water, act water – the strategy: 1.6mb screen quality pdf pdf

This document outlines the strategies and contains an implementation plan for managing our water resources now and for the future.

Volume 2 Think water, act water – explanatory document: 432kb screen quality pdf pdf

This document provides further information and explanation of the strategies and implementation plan.

Volume 3 The state of the ACT’s water resources and catchments: 2.1mb screen quality pdf pdf

This document describes water sub-catchments in which the ACT has an interest and the flows, allocations and provision, for future allocations for sub-catchments.

Please note that the information contained in Volume 3 has since been repealed and replaced by the following: