Unitywater posed a number of future water management options to local residents and stakeholders at a series of community engagement forums in April and May as part of its Water Matters Plan, which will help guide the utility and key partners to manage water more sustainably over the next 30 years.

The community forums highlighted there were potential short-term solutions that could be implemented across Noosa and the Sunshine Coast regions to respond to increased pressure from development, population growth and climate change.

Unitywater Executive Manager Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions Daniel Lambert said attendees were unanimous in the need to educate people about the impacts of urbanisation on the natural waterways and the small actions each resident could take.

“Education for residents and businesses is one of the most important ongoing actions for Unitywater and project partners Sunshine Coast Council, Noosa Council and Seqwater,” he said.

“We know that residents are passionate about creating opportunities for the community to learn more about why water matters, and how we can each do our bit to use water more sustainably.

“As the region’s water services provider, we have a huge role to play in looking at how we harvest, use and reuse water and contribute to liveable communities.”

Water management options like recycled water for commercial and community purposes and stormwater management were considered as critical to improve the Burgess Creek waterway.

The biosphere status in the Noosa region and the importance of maintaining the natural environment was a key discussion point when considering long-term and sustainable outcomes for water management.

Some larger changes, like treatment plant technology and the way wastewater is treated, were also considered important to investigate in the long term.

Mr Lambert said Unitywater was excited to engage with community further on the draft Water Matters Plan.

“We encourage people to have their say on how we can manage water in a more integrated and sustainable way over the next 30 years,” he said.

Residents can have their say on the draft water management options by taking the Water Matters Survey at www.communityhub.unitywater.com/water-matters, which will be open until the end of the month.

The final plan will be completed and released later this year.