We’re taking action to care for and protect the nature that surrounds us, and by 2050 we’ll have made changes to the production and supply of our water and sewerage services to reach net zero.
Our pledge to nature means delivering our services without compromising the water needed for healthy waterways or generating more emissions. We are moving towards a more circular economy in the way we work and operate. It’s about adapting to our changing climate by thinking differently and putting community and nature first.
The Race to Zero
In 2021, Unitywater became one of 14 water utilities in Australia and New Zealand to join the Race to Zero – a United Nations-backed campaign to pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Our commitment to a sustainable future for our region extends beyond net zero carbon emissions, and we are proud to say that we have also become the first water utility in Australia to commit to net zero nutrients diverted or offset from waterways by 2050.
By also targeting net zero nutrients we will contribute to our local community by improving the health of our waterways – something that is important to our customers, and to us.
We will release our Environmental Sustainability Plan in 2023 to further explain our plan to achieve these goals, alongside continued reporting of our achievements towards net zero for emissions and nutrients to waterways.
Pictured right is the Cogeneration Plant at our Kawana Sewage Treatment Plant.
As part of our commitment to long-term sustainable water supply in our region, we are building the Wamuran Irrigation Scheme. This recycled water scheme will provide year-round water security for a number of Wamuran farmers while sustainably managing wastewater from the Caboolture South Sewage Treatment Plant.
The initial stage of the project will deliver 2.6 gigalitres of recycled water per year and save 11 tonnes of nitrogen and 1.8 tonnes of phosphorous.
In 2016, we purchased two lots of former cane farming land on River Road, Maroochy River as part of a larger program to improve the health of the rivers and creeks in the area. Much of the former cane land is being restored as a wetland.
This wetland removes nutrients and sediments from the river, which improves water quality and overall river health.
We can offset 0.26 tonnes of phosphorus and 5.3 tonnes of nitrogen per annum discharged to the Maroochy River following treatment of the local community’s sewage.
In our ever-growing world, we need to understand, more than ever, water matters - now and for the future.
Water sustainability, health and supply matters. Ensuring we have enough water for everyone and everything, matters. Water for liveable communities’ matters. Using water more beneficially matters to support our customers to get more from water and sewerage services. It also matters to find new ways to harness more water and waste less.
Through our Water Matters program, we are working with our partners and the community to develop a long-term plan for a healthier, more liveable future to 2050.
Water Matters is Unitywater’s total water cycle management plan that will ensure a healthier, more liveable future for everyone in Moreton Bay, Noosa and the Sunshine Coast.
To ensure we continue to meet the high expectations of our communities, we invite you to have your say on our plan that will ensure everyone can continue to enjoy access to safe, reliable and sustainable water services.
Since 2015, we have been investing in large scale solar projects to power our operations. In 2017, a 100kW system was installed at our Southern Service Centre. This system reduces carbon emissions by 93 tonnes per annum.
The solar panels reduce the plant's carbon footprint and the floating wetland uses plant roots to remove nutrients and sediments from treated wastewater, improving water quality before it is used to irrigate a specially-planted forest.
We aim to keep our waterways clean and our ocean wildlife safe from single-use plastic, by encouraging people to drink tap water instead of bottled water. Our vans are at community events and we have 60 water refill stations across our region.
This $8 million project will repair nine riverbank sites and 2.4km of eroding shoreline to offset nutrients discharged to the river from the nearby Burpengary East Sewage Treatment Plant. The project will increase biodiversity and fish habitat while stabilising sections of river bank.
In 2019, we completed a project to stabilise a 250-metre section of the River at Bellmere. The works stopped 3,600 tonnes of soil entering the river and will hold back an annual estimate of 1.51 tonnes of total nitrogen and 0.79 tonnes of total phosphorus.
At the Kawana Sewage Treatment Plant we constructed a new anaerobic digester to produce methane-rich biogas from the sewage biosolids. This sustainable waste-to-energy solution will reduce emissions, operating costs and dependence on electricity.
You might not think that the water you use every day could have an effect on global carbon emissions? Actually, it can. Not only does every
drop count – every drop also uses energy! And it’s so easy to do your bit and
be a Local Water Legend. Go for shorter showers, water the garden at cooler
times and sweep, not hose the driveways. These simple efforts can go a long way
to keeping the planet in good shape for the future.
2. Go paperless!
Receiving your Unitywater bills electronically is more environmentally friendly than paper billing. You’ll get your bill sent straight to your email and you can also view and manage your bills online through My Account.