Local planning for healthy waterways - using NSW Water Quality Objectives
This booklet outlines how incorporating water quality objectives into strategic
planning of development is a key way that local councils, as well as state government agencies, developers and the community - can contribute to improving the health of waterways.
According to a major study of the community's attitudes to the environment (DEC 2004), water quality is the most important issue for the NSW community, with water conservation and management topping their list of major concerns.
Responsibility for ensuring healthy waterways and protecting water quality in catchments is shared between the community and all levels of government, from federal and state to catchment management authorities and local government.
Recognising the community's environmental values and uses for waterways, the NSW Government and the community have agreed upon Water Quality Objectives for each catchment.
Development can contribute to meeting these objectives by following siting and design principles and achieving reasonable levels of performance that protect our waterways. Some local councils require developments to achieve stormwater treatment targets. Stormwater treatment targets can contribute to achieving water quality and river flow objectives or will minimise the impact of stormwater, enabling effective use of other measures, such as offsets when council considers further action necessary to ensure the community’s objectives for a waterway will be met. An example of stormwater targets can be found in Landcom’s Water Sensitive Urban Design guidelines. The targets consider what developers can practically and reasonably achieve with water-sensitive urban design techniques for stormwater management.
Local councils can contribute significantly by building the principles in this brochure into their local environmental plans, development control plans and assessment of development proposals.
Many councils and state agencies are already applying these planning principles to protect waterways and this booklet draws on their experience. By adopting these suggestions more widely in the strategic planning process, local councils can play a crucial role in supporting the community's values for our waterways.
- provides an outline of water quality management in NSW and answers some frequently asked questions about water quality in catchments
- outlines a simple and practical six-step process for councils looking to establish a strategic planning approach for improving the health of waterways.
Page last updated: 25 July 2011