Waterwise Councils have the opportunity to work collaboratively with Water Corporation and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to restore and enhance the value of their green spaces and local environment. For many Councils, their relationship to water is closely linked to the environment and opting into the Waterwise Council Program has led to an improvement in the way they sustain wetlands, parks and the natural spaces. Many of the practices adopted include hydrozoning, groundwater management, nutrient control and cross-organisational collaboration.

The City of Bayswater has constructed a number of living streams and micro wetlands within its local catchment to support the aquatic biodiversity and health as a Swan River council. The City’s local environment is also supported by waterwise park management including hydrozoning, which is the practice of grouping vegetation into categories with similar water requirements to enable more efficient and responsible irrigation.

City of Bayswater
Revegetation at Russel St Living Stream - City of Bayswater.

The City has found that through a common goal, which is to improve the environment and community outcomes, it has seen unprecedented collaboration across all of Western Australia’s water management organisations, resulting in the multi-award-winning Bayswater Brook Catchment Management Plan. The keystone project of the plan was the restoration of Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary (ESBS). The aim was to address several environmental and ecological problems and to restore a degraded wetland and improve water quality entering the Swan River from the Bayswater Brook Catchment. The result was a civil re-construction of the ESBS wetland which will prevent 1.35 tonnes of nitrogen, 200 kg of phosphorous, and around 40 tonnes of sediment and other rubbish from entering the Swan River each year.

The Sanctuary is now home to a variety of different birds including ducks, pelicans, white-faced herons, swallows, honeyeaters, reed dwellers and hawks. At dusk, hear the raucous laughter of kookaburras and the croaking frogs over its 4 hectares.

For the City of Cockburn, water is a highly valued resource that runs at the heart of the City. With a total land area of about 170 km, the City is home to many wetlands and the renowned Beeliar Wetland chain, 17 kilometres of coastline and large park and conservation areas. These Environmental assets are critical to the health and the happiness of their residents; this inspired it to participate in the Waterwise Council Program.

The Port Coogee Groundwater Interception Drain has been one of the City’s cornerstone projects, which now diverts nutrient-rich stormwater onto local public open spaces and prevents it from entering the marina. The project also reduces the City’s groundwater use providing a sustainable non-potable water source.

The City of Mandurah, which has been a Waterwise Council for over 10 years, recognises that alternative water sources are important in response to climate change. The City has worked to identify and actioned several recycled water schemes, in collaboration with the Water Corporation. This includes the City’s Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) Project, that enables the use of fit-for-purpose water for its green space assets. The soon to be completed MAR Project will use the natural aquifer system to store water over wet winter months for future use during hot, dry summers. A total of 110 hectares of greenspace in north Mandurah will use MAR as a sustainable climate-independent solution for irrigation.

Photo of the City of Mandurah Gluten Free Ducks sign
Signage informing residents about the local ecology - City of Mandurah.

The City of Swan responsible for over 140 green spaces and covers an area of over 1,000 square kilometres – geographically the largest local government authority in the Perth metropolitan area. The City contains three distinct landforms including the Swan Coastal Plain, Darling Plateau and Dandaragan Plateau. Smart irrigation practices are key when you are responsible for managing the largest council area in Perth. All of the City’s irrigated spaces are carefully monitored and budgeted against groundwater licence allocations to allow watering during the times most needed like the peak of summer. Any savings per month can be carried over and used during peak demand.

One of the City’s practices is the review and maintenance of Gross Pollutant Traps (GPTs) and trash racks in drains to ensure litter and debris are intercepted to maintain water quality in local rivers and brooks. All known GPTs are cleaned out twice per financial year, and a register is used to keep track of GPTs and updated when new ones are added or replaced. To further support its environmental sustainability vision, the City has developed management plans and erosion control designs for reserves and waterways.

The Town of Cambridge has converted various median strips and parks to native waterwise gardens by planting native vegetation. This includes planting more than 500 trees in the last two years, with further planting to occur over the next few years.

One of the Town’s main philosophies is to meet the needs of the community through collaboration and genuine consultation. The Town developed it’s Sustainability Strategy by involving community groups, residents and schools. Current and future water actions are based on the actions identified in the Strategy according to community needs.

Find out more about how climate change is impacting our water supply