Catchment to Coast (metropolitan Adelaide)
The 'Catchment to Coast focus for water quality improvement across urban Adelaide' was a 5-year project funded through the Australian Government National Landcare Program.
The project facilitated community engagement to improve coastal water quality at catchment, subcatchment and local scale across the Adelaide region.
Building community capacity for water quality improvement was the main strategy for this project, and it involved onground action, signage at specific sites and some monitoring to inform managers of stormwater on how to best reduce sediment, coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and nutrient loads from stormwater in the Adelaide region.
Through 6 sub-projects Catchment to Coast contributed towards improving Adelaide's urban waterways and coastal waters through implementation of strategies 1, 3, 4 and 8 in the Australian Government funded Adelaide Coastal Water Quality Improvement Plan (ACWQIP)
Action at a local level
Focusing initially on infrastructure managers, developers, and local government the EPA provided information on the appropriate scale of action needed to improve water quality in urban waterways and along our coast to key stakeholders and project partners.
The EPA has also, using the information garnered from monitoring and technical knowledge from these groups, provided information to the broader Adelaide community through specific practitioner training, community workshops, urban days and field trips.
In addition, there were regular steering group meetings with members from the Conservation Council SA, RecFish SA, SA Water, Department for Environment and Water, Natural Resource Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges), as well as several local councils within the project area.
Support for community awareness
From left to right: Rain Garden Model at The Joinery, Interpretive Signage Brooker Terrace, Mile End EPA Display at Science Alive 2016.
Information on how to prevent stormwater pollution for both the homeowner and businesses was provided via the EPA’s information sheets on What householders can do? and the information sheets and guidelines for rain gardens.
The EPA promoted awareness of water quality issues by providing informative signage at highly visible locations, principally locations that feature water sensitive urban design (WSUD), such as the rain gardens, provided through subprojects 3 and 5.
In addition, the EPA supported community education work at the Marine Discovery Centre (MDC):
- at their Henley Beach site focusing on Catchment to Coast education through interactive displays and multimedia information,
- by installing signs at locations in Adelaide to highlight what action people can take to improve stormwater and coastal water quality and
- by providing visits to schools with performers doing Catchment to Coast plays such as ‘Down the Drain’ to highlight to students what people can do to improve stormwater and coastal water quality across the Adelaide region.
The MDC also worked with KESAB on citizen science litter monitoring projects so the community could play a role in monitoring and understanding issues impacting on water quality in Adelaide’s urban waterways and coastal waters.
Catchment to Coast helped to fund Water Sensitive SA (WSSA), a capacity building program that provides resources to stakeholders across all disciplines within the development and urban water management industries. WSSA provides these professionals access to the latest WSUD information, training and knowledge on how to apply it properly, providing the support they need to achieve the best water sensitive urban design (WSUD) outcomes.
The EPA will continue to support WSSA in providing information, training and linking to rain garden information gathered through the Catchment to Coast project. The WSSA website has an interactive map of all WSUD sites across South Australia and case study information sheets for the demonstration sites on Rankine Street and Brooker Terrace in Mile End, on the corner of Gilbert, Wright and Russell Street in Adelaide, and Randolph Avenue in Fullarton.
WSSA Training (from left to right) streetscale rain garden design, WSUD maintenance and permeable paving
Left to right: Randolf Ave in Fullarton, Rankine Rd in Torrensville and Wright St Hotel in Adelaide.
- The City of Unley constructed 10 large bio-filtration rain gardens at Randolph Ave, Fullarton taking stormwater from the road and near by housing areas, treating it through the rain gardens, before returning it to the stormwater system.
- Adelaide City Council constructed a total of 4 small street-scale rain gardens, 2 in front of Wright Street and 2 in front of Gilbert Street Hotel to treat stormwater coming off the street.
- The City of West Torrens built over 30 rain gardens at several project sites including Rankine Road in Mile End, Brooker Terrace in Richmond and Gardiner Street in Camden Park.
All 3 projects are included in case studies and an interactive map with the City of West Torrens providing their case studies through an interactive trail.
Working with the Kaurna people to promote cultural connections
Left to right: Living Kaurna Cultural Centre Open Day 2016 and EPA Kaurna Cultural Awareness Training 2018.
The EPA employed an Aboriginal Engagement Officer to engage with the Kaurna people of the Adelaide region, based at the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre for much of the project to develop onground projects at culturally significant sites. From this work rain gardens have been installed with the City of Salisbury at the Watershed Function Centre/Greenfields Wetlands site and the City of Charles Sturt at Tennyson Dunes northern car park.
Advice on the cultural significance of sites was provided when looking at content for interpretive signage for all our WSUD sites, and also when developing culturally relevant signage and connecting with the Kaurna community for input at other local government cultural sites. Examples are City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters for Felixstow Reserve and with Adelaide City Council for Peppermint Park/Wita Wirra (Park 18) and Pelzer Park/Pityarilla (Park 19) in the southern parklands.
The Kaurna engagement work was promoted at events such as National Sorry Day in Victoria Square, Living Kaurna Cultural Centre open days and Kaurna Cultural Awareness training for Catchment to Coast project partners.
Rain Garden 500
Rain Garden 500 was a 3-year grant program where local councils, community groups, schools, sports clubs, or a group of motivated individuals could apply for funding to build a rain garden in the Adelaide region.
This was especially important to increasing awareness of WSUD within the community, and building knowledge and capacity for local government to continue to incorporate WSUD elements into public spaces and streetscapes.
One of 6 funded rain gardens funded in Halmon Ave, Everard Park
Monitoring across catchments and sub-catchments in Adelaide
The aim of this subproject was to have better informed stormwater management in the future through monitoring of stormwater across different seasons and sites to fill in knowledge gaps on runoff info to Adelaide’s coastal waters.
Other projects included:
- Gap monitoring of sediment from drains and catchments.
- Water quality monitoring of drains with University of SA.
- Conceptual model development for Adelaide coastal waters.
- Comparison of data from stormwater audit 2013 and 2104 with 2013 report completed for ACWS.
- Support for University of SA PhD student monitoring of Treenet installations in City of Mitcham
- Monitoring changes in seagrass health in the Spencer Gulf along the Adelaide coast using information collected in the production of the Aquatic Ecosystem Condition Reports (AECRs).
Funding and partnership acknowledgements
The Catchment to Coast project was jointly funded through the Australian Government National Landcare Program with $2 million of funding over 5 years, partnering with the EPA and other key groups such as Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM, and numerous local governments and community groups.
The full list of project partners for Catchment to Coast project activities and promotions included:
- Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM
- Adelaide City Council
- Alberton Primary School
- Australian Government National Landcare Program
- City of Charles Sturt
- City of Holdfast Bay
- City of Marion
- City of Mitcham
- City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters
- City of Onkaparinga
- City of Port Adelaide Enfield
- City of Salisbury
- City of Unley
- City of West Torrens
- Coast Protection Board
- Conservation Council of SA
- Department for Environment and Water (formerly Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources)
- Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
- Department of Treasury and Finance
- Flagstaff Hill Primary School
- Kaurna Elders and Kaurna people of Adelaide region
- LCS Landscapes
- Light Regional Council
- Living Kaurna Cultural centre
- Marine Discovery Centre – Star of the Sea School
- RAW Recruitment and Services (formerly ART Services)
- RecFish SA
- Royal Automobile Association (RAA)
- SA Water
- Science to Manage Uncertainty (SMU)
- Tennyson Dune Care Group
- University of South Australia
- Water Data Services
- Water Sensitive SA
The EPA wishes to thank everyone who has been involved in the delivery of the Catchment to Coast work over the five years of the project. There were many others beyond the groups listed above who attended events, promotions, training and were interested in the project.