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Bohle Catchment Roadmap commended

A roadmap for improving water quality in Townsville’s Bohle River Catchment has been ‘highly commended’ for R&D Excellence at the 2022 Australian Water Association Queensland Gala Awards.

The Bohle Catchment Water Quality Offsets Roadmap was co-developed in 2020 by Townsville City Council, E2 Design Lab and Alluvium Consulting with the support of $450,000 through the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program.

Council’s Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability chairperson Margie Ryder said at the launch of the Roadmap that Council is keen to reduce its impact on the reef.

“Excessive nutrients promote algal growth which negatively impacts corals in our in-shore reef areas,” Cr Ryder said.

“Improvements in the catchment may reduce the need for an expensive upgrade at the Condon Water Purification Plant so this approach should save ratepayers money.”

“Council could trade off water emissions from its Condon plant with improved stormwater management in our urban areas so it is a good time to explore our options in the catchment,” Cr Ryder said.

The Roadmap project has developed and tested the feasibility of using stormwater treatment solutions instead of traditional wastewater treatment upgrades to improve water quality in the Bohle River catchment, and ultimately, the Great Barrier Reef.

Townsville City Council says the approach means that benefits can be shared by community across the catchment instead of investing in expensive onsite upgrades to grey infrastructure at wastewater treatment plants.

Residents will see the Roadmap at work in pilot projects across Townsville.

An education package was developed to assist other local governments with developing a framework to support this approach to point source water quality offsets.

Learn more: Bohle River Offsets Project — Education Package