Water is central to our identity as Brisbane, the river city, and is vital for our health, industry and to support the liveability of Brisbane.
To guide Brisbane towards the goal of becoming Australia's most sustainable and water smart city, Brisbane City Council has now finalised its WaterSmart Strategy - a process which began in 2009.
Through a balanced approach that protects and improves waterway health and creates well-designed vibrant and liveable spaces that are economically viable, Brisbane City Council aims to achieve the goal of being a water smart city.
The WaterSmart Strategy was developed to map out ideas and outcomes to ensure the long-term sustainable management of Brisbane's water resources as the population grows. It sets out clear actions for Council, its partners and the community through to 2016, and will guide water management beyond this timeframe.
These key actions focus on using water creatively and sensitively in the design of public and private spaces, managing flood risks to ensure the safety of people and properties, ensuring the sustainability of water resources and creating recreational areas to allow the community to appreciate the many values and benefits of our waterways.
The process to draft and finalise the WaterSmart Strategy involved extensive consultation with key stakeholders across industry, business, residents and a team of experts.
Feedback was received through community and industry workshops, an online survey, direct submissions from individuals and organisations, formal comments provided by the Urban Futures Brisbane Board and an expert panel review session with the majority of comments backing the vision behind this strategy.
As a result of feedback received, parts of the WaterSmart Strategy have been reworked. In particular, stakeholders requested a greater emphasis on practical solutions - case studies have been highlighted throughout the document to reflect this. In addition to this, implementation plans are being developed to complement the WaterSmart Strategy and guide projects, actions and initiatives to ensure the goals of the Strategy are achieved.
The expert panel who provided significant input to the Strategy described the final WaterSmart Strategy as "a fantastic and excellent initiative bringing water back to the forefront of managing, designing and planning the city".