Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Chatswood invests in stormwater harvesting

Media release
15 November 2011

Chatswood will reduce its potable water consumption by more than 80 per cent through an innovative new stormwater and rainwater harvesting project.

The Australian Government contributed $2.38 million towards the $7.14 million Chatswood CBD and Civic Place Integrated Water Management project, which included construction of a stormwater retention/detention tank under Ferguson Lane.

Officially opened today at the launch of the Environmentally Sustainable Design Initiatives at The Concourse in Chatswood, the Integrated Water Management project showcases the benefits of reducing demand for potable water through stormwater harvesting and re-use in high-density urban centres.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said water collected from Chatswood CBD and Civic Place will be re-used for non-drinking purposes including irrigation, toilet flushing and in air-conditioning cooling towers.

"Reusing this stormwater will save 25 million litres of drinking water each year and reduce stormwater discharges to local creeks and Middle Harbour by 14 per cent," Senator Farrell said.

"This project shows how new technologies and practices can transform a stormwater problem into a water supply solution.

"It also provides community education by showcasing innovative approaches to water use management and sustainability in open urban areas."

The project is part of a broader redevelopment of the Civic Place site, which aims to minimise drinking water consumption and stormwater discharge from the site.

The Civic Place development will incorporate water conservation initiatives, including efficient fixtures and appliances, and automated water reading to monitor water consumption.

The Australian Government is investing more than $1.5 billion in a diverse range of water projects in towns and cities across the nation, through the Water for the Future initiative.