Project Summary

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, Unitywater is working with our partners and the community to develop a long-term plan for a healthier, more liveable future to 2051.

Have your say

Have your say in our Water Matters plan by using our mapping tool to drop a pin in your local area or take a quick poll on what’s most important from a community, environment and economic perspective.

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The Sunshine Coast and Noosa regions boast a unique landscape of natural assets and stunning environment, making it an attractive place to live, work, invest, visit and holiday.

Unitywater saw an opportunity to respond to the rapid growth expected in South East Queensland by developing and delivering a plan, which will contribute to sustainable development, resilience and prosperity in our region.

We are currently considering options from a community, environment and economic perspective to ensure decision making is balanced and considers all possible outcomes.


Building a plan with our community in mind

There are many considerations in planning for our water future to ensure we get the right balance for our customers and the community.

Water Matters explores the water cycle to consider new and sustainable options for drinking water, recycled water, storm water run-off and natural waterways.

Working with our partners, we’re investigating a range of scenarios that will balance cost, environment and community perspectives in our decision making.

When it comes to community considerations, we’re addressing issues and trends that are likely to occur before 2051. These include:

Our growing population

  • Additional demand for potable water and sewerage services
  • Change in land use that could impact the local environmental and waterway health
  • Increased use of waterways for recreation

Engaging our community

  • Awareness and active participation in water cycle issues and opportunities
  • Support and use of alternative water sources 
  • Responsiveness of customers to change their water consumption behaviours
  • Opportunities for recreation, tourism and education on or near waterways
  • Enhancing the liveability of our communities


Enhancing the natural environment

There are many considerations in planning for our water future to ensure we get the right balance for our customers and the community.

Water Matters looks at four waterway catchments on the Sunshine Coast and Noosa, including Burgess Creek, Maroochy River, Mooloolah River and North Pumicestone Passage.

Working with our partners, we’re investigating integrated solutions for managing water and sewerage through the water lifecycle, and considers rainwater tanks, riverbank stabilisation, restoring wetlands and floodplains, land management, stormwater runoff, grey water, recycled water. 

The outcomes of Water Matters will balance cost, environment and community perspectives in our decision making.

When it comes to environmental considerations, we’re addressing issues and trends that are likely to occur before 2051. These include:

Health of the natural environment

  • Sediment and nutrient runoff in Burgess Creek, Maroochy River, Mooloolah River and North Pumicestone Passage
  • Riverbanks and riverbank stabilisation
  • Pollution in our local waterways
  • Protecting the natural habitats of animals, and flora and fauna

Sustainable water and sewerage services

  • Carbon emissions from electricity generated in water and sewerage supply
  • Reducing waste in the water cycle, including from the treatment of sewerage
  • Reusing or recycling water for residential, community, commercial and industrial uses
  • Stormwater harvesting as a way of capturing runoff


Supporting the local economy

There are many considerations in planning for our water future to ensure we get the right balance for our customers and the community.

We are working with local and state government, local businesses, industry bodies, environment and community groups to understand the extent that the water cycle underpins the economy in Noosa and the Sunshine Coast. 

Water Matters looks at current business ventures and future opportunities on four waterway catchments, including Burgess Creek, Maroochy River, Mooloolah River and North Pumicestone Passage.

The outcomes of Water Matters will balance cost, environment and community perspectives in our decision making. When it comes to economic considerations, we’re addressing issues and trends that are likely to occur before 2051. These include:

Waterway uses that contribute to the local economy

  • Land management in the agricultural and horticultural sectors that contributes to catchment quality through sediment and nutrient runoff
  • Speed and growth of new residential developments that support emerging communities and influence future water consumption
  • Tourism and commercial recreation activities that utilise waterways heavily and contribute to catchment quality
  • Changes to land uses and land forms that could impact catchment and environmental health
  • Future uses or innovations that could lead to new commercial opportunities or ventures
  • Commercial and recreational fishing rely on good catchment/waterway health

Water Matters timeline

Apr - May 2021
Water Matters open for engagement
May 2021
Scenario planning
May - Jul 2021
Your Water Matters explained
Jul - Oct 2021
Preparing our Water Matters plan
Nov 2021
Water Matters plan published