Noosa and Sunshine Coast residents can register to be part of community consultation in early 2023 where the Water Matters Plan will be open for feedback.
Community consultation will form part of Unitywater’s ongoing Water Matters program that outlines how to sustainably manage the world’s most essential resource locally for the next 30 years.
Unitywater is working with its council partners and the community to develop the Water Matters Plan that safeguards the long-term health of our precious catchments and waterways.
The long-term plan covers four key catchments including Burgess Creek in the Noosa Council local government area, and Maroochy River, Mooloolah River and North Pumicestone Passage in the Sunshine Coast Council area.
All feedback sourced through Water Matters guides Unitywater’s approach to service delivery, its contribution to managing key waterway catchments and helps to identify new and sustainable options for the future.
Unitywater Executive Manager Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions Daniel Lambert said it was especially important to seek input from local people who are familiar with the four catchments and their unique qualities.
“Our region’s population is growing and as a provider of essential services, we need to properly plan to meet the needs of our customers now and in the future,” Mr Lambert said.
“And you cannot be a water utility in the modern world without acknowledging the part we play in total water cycle management and the potential we have to contribute in a meaningful way to sustainable development, resilience and prosperity.
“Look at where we live and work. Unitywater operates in the most beautiful part of Australia, so improving the liveability of the communities we service is also a big driver.
“But to achieve all of this, we need to hear from the people living in these catchments. They have unique insight and broad views, so it’s important to capture as much of that rich intelligence as possible.”
The Water Matters Plan will contribute to Unitywater’s net zero sustainability goals that were announced in 2021.
“We have joined 14 Australian and New Zealand water utilities in the United Nations-backed global Race to Zero campaign to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” he said.
“Our sustainability targets extend on the race to zero commitment, so we achieve net zero carbon emissions, as well as zero nutrients to waterways and zero waste from sewage treatment plants to landfill.”
“Through Water Matters, we’ll work towards these targets by considering all elements for managing water and sewage through each stage of the water life cycle.
“We will explore options for potable water, recycled water, storm water run-off and natural waterways.
Mr Lambert said input obtained will be considered in future drafts and five-year plans that will underpin its delivery.
“Planning for our water future will be ongoing and reviewed regularly to ensure we’re working towards the agreed outcomes for 2050,” he said.
"Water Matters will help lay the foundations for the way forward, but future challenges we’ll need to consider as part of our reviews will include changes in climate forecasts, waterway health and population growth.
“There’s lot to factor in when it comes to our water future, but it’s important our options are aligned with our community’s values.
The community can register to be part of consultation by visiting communityhub.unitywater.com/water-matters
Find out more at https://www.unitywater.com/about-us/projects-in-your-area/major-projects/water-matters