Healthy Waterways Projects to support improved stormwater quality in Tuggeranong


Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Shane Rattenbury has launched a suite of projects aimed at improving stormwater quality throughout the Tuggeranong Valley.

Minister Rattenbury said the projects will improve the natural quality of the water that goes into Lake Tuggeranong. This will reduce the amount of nutrients that cause the growth of blue-green algae, which is harmful to the lake's ecosystem.

“We know that Canberrans value the ACT’s beautiful natural landscape, including our lakes, ponds and waterways,” Minister Rattenbury said.

The Government is investing in a range of projects to help improve water quality, particularly in Lake Tuggeranong.

“We are actively working to tackle the issue of blue-green algae in the lakes of the ACT. One approach we are taking is to make our drains and stormwater infrastructure more natural by removing concrete and introducing plant life.

“Re-naturalising waterways not only achieves better water quality outcomes, it also makes the urban environment a more attractive and natural space.

“During the development of our city, we used to think that concrete drains were good enough to handle floods and move water away. But now we've learned that using natural drains, which blend in with the environment, not only do a better job of preventing floods but also help protect our local plants and animals,” Minister Rattenbury said.

A number of projects will start soon to naturalise water in Tuggeranong, including removing 500 meters of the Tuggeranong Creek stormwater drain and replacing it with natural elements, modifying 54 street kerbs across East and West Kambah to direct stormwater flows across existing green spaces, and planning stormwater recycling infrastructure at Kambah Playing field.

Specially designed water plants will be planted in these areas to trap sediments and absorb nutrients from garden clippings and fertilisers otherwise destined for our waterways without compromising the area’s stormwater capacity.

“These projects cannot improve water quality on their own; it is still critical for government, businesses and the community to work together to reduce pollutants such as leaves, grass clippings and fertilisers from entering stormwater drains in the first place.

“These projects are another exciting trial within the ACT Healthy Waterways program and, if successful, they add another water quality improvement method to our increasing toolkit,” Minister Rattenbury said.

This suite of projects comes alongside the ACT Government’s recent investment of $8.2 million investment in the Healthy Waterways Program through the 2023-24 ACT Budget.

Access to the channel west of Tharwa Drive and adjacent to the Calwell Playing Fields will be fenced off during construction. Access from Richardson to the Calwell High School and Calwell Playing fields can be made via Johnson Drive and Were Street from the west and Tharwa Drive and Were Street from the east.

Further information about the projects is available on the Environment website at: