Managing water for Fishermans Bend

Sean Car

A multi-government partnership is embedding the “world’s best water managing practices” in a new long-term strategy for Fishermans Bend.

A partnership between the Victorian Government, Cities of Port Phillip and Melbourne, South East Water, Melbourne Water, Water Sensitive Cities Australia and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect has resulted in the Fishermans Bend Water Sensitive City Strategy.

“This partnership approach, led by the Victorian Government, has resulted in an innovative strategy which will reduce the impact of flooding, improve stormwater quality before it enters the bay and provide a climate-resilient water supply,” Port Phillip Council Mayor Marcus Pearl said.

An “integral part” of planning in Fishermans Bend, managing water is crucial for the Fishermans Bend community with the area located between the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay and facing heightened flooding risks from climate change.

A secure, sustainable water supply will be provided for all parks and sports facilities within Fishermans Bend, with the potential opportunity to irrigate other open spaces in surrounding neighbourhoods with recycled water.

According to the City of Port Phillip, the strategy commits to delivering fit-for-purpose recycled water for every resident. All buildings will be connected to a recycled water network for everyday tasks such as clothes washing, toilet flushing, garden irrigation and wash down (such as cars), reducing use of precious drinking water.

A flood levee (embankment) is planned along the banks of the Yarra River to protect Fishermans Bend from flooding, which will be part of the latter stage of the 30-year strategy and involves the levee being integrated into the urban fabric, rather than being a traditional soil barrier.

As well as applying “world’s best practice” to manage water in collaborative and innovative ways across residential, business and public spaces, the council said the strategy also supported “a sustainable future for Port Phillip as the city adapts to a changing climate and the accompanying sea level rise.”

The Fishermans Bend precinct covers around 480 hectares within the Cities of Port Phillip and Melbourne. By 2050, it is predicted this area will be home to 80,000 residents and provide jobs for up to 80,000 people.

The City of Port Phillip said it would be collaborating with partners, including the Victorian Government, to undertake infrastructure planning and begin delivery of its long-term strategy.

“This involves continuing to work together to incorporate water infrastructure into open spaces, streets and buildings through a levee, drainage and pump upgrades, distributed storages in open space, raingardens, tree pits, green roofs, green walls, smart rainwater tanks and a recycled water network throughout Fishermans Bend,” a council spokesperson said.

“This all contributes to a liveable, productive, sustainable and resilient future for Australia’s largest urban renewal project.”

For more information: fishermansbend.vic.gov.au/media/fishermans-bend-water-sensitive-city-strategy

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