Catchment to Coast (metropolitan Adelaide)
Catchment to Coast focus for water quality improvement across urban Adelaide is a 5-year project funded through the Australian Government National Landcare Programme.
The project is focused on facilitation of community engagement to improve coastal water quality at catchment, sub-catchment and local scale across the Adelaide region.
Building community capacity for water quality improvement is the main strategy for this project, and it involves on ground 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 will contribute 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)
Taking action at a local level
Focusing initially on infrastructure managers, developers, and local government the EPA has 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 holding specific practitioner training, community workshops, urban days and field trips.
In addition the EPA held regular steering group meetings with membership from SA Conservation Council, Recreational Fishing SA, SA Water, the Department for Environment and Water (then the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, including the Natural Resource Management Board for the Adelaide Mount Lofty area), 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 Garden 500.
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.
The Catchment to Coast helped in funding the Water Sensitive SA (WSSA), a capacity building program that provides 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 and training and linking to the EPA 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 St in Adelaide, and Randolph Avenue in Fullarton.
WSSA Training (From left to Right) Streetscale Raingarden Design, WSUD Maintenance, Permeable Paving
Left to right: Randolf Ave, Fullarton. Rankine Rd, Torrensville. Wright St Hotel, Adelaide.
- The City of Unley constructed ten 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 four small street scale rain gardens, two in front of Wright Street and two in front of Gilbert Street Hotels to treat stormwater coming off the street.
- The City of West Torrens built over thirty rain gardens at several project sites including Rankine Road, Mile End, Brooker Terrace, Richmond and Gardiner Street, Camden Park.
All three projects included the provision of case studies and an interactive map on the Water Sensitive SA website with the City of West Torrens providing their case studies through an interactive trail on the City of West Torrens website.
Working with the Kaurna people to promote cultural connections
Left to right: Living Kaurna Cultural Centre Open Day 2016. EPA Kaurna Cultural Awareness Training 2018.
The EPA employed an Aboriginal Engagement Officer to better engage with the Kaurna people of the Adelaide region. They were based at the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre for much of the project to develop on ground projects in the Adelaide region 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 with the City of Charles Sturt at Tennyson Dunes northern car park.
They also provided advice on the cultural significance of sites when looking at content for interpretive signage for all our WSUD sites, and worked on developing culturally relevant signage and connecting with the Kaurna community for input at other local government cultural sites; with the City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters for Felixstow Reserve and with Adelaide City Council for Marshmallow Park or Park PPP in Adelaide’s southern parklands.
The Catchment to Coast Kaurna engagement work was promoted at events such as National Sorry Day in Victoria Square, Living Kaurna Cultural Centre Open Days and the EPA coordinated with Kaurna Elders a Kaurna Cultural Awareness Training day 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 Raingardens funded by Rain Garden 500 on Halmon Ave, Everand Park.
Map of the locations and council areas of all Catchment to Coast Raingardens.
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.
The EPA have several projects including:
- 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 done for ACWS
- Support for University of SA PhD student monitoring of Treenet installations in City of Mitcham.
We will also use the information collected in the production of the Aquatic Ecosystem Condition Reports (AECRs) to look at changes in seagrass health in the Spencer Gulf along the Adelaide coast.