Water is essential for human survival; however, risks such as water shortages, water quality degradation and the increasing impacts of flooding mean communities require a new approach to water management.
Ipswich City Council's Integrated Water Strategy establishes a framework for the management of Ipswich's water cycle in accordance with a total water cycle management approach. Ipswich's water cycle combines a complex and interrelated mix of people, industries, catchments, rivers, dams, reservoirs, water service provider assets (potable water and sewerage networks), stormwater drainage features and flood mitigation works. Some elements of the water cycle are within the Ipswich Local Government Area (LGA), while others – such as Wivenhoe Dam – are outside the Ipswich LGA but impact on, or are impacted by, what happens here.
Integrated water management seeks to cost effectively improve water management in a way that meets community expectations while maximising social and environmental benefits. It recognises all the elements of the water cycle and considers the interactions between them when decisions are made.
This strategy considers all elements of the water cycle that Ipswich City Council (ICC) is responsible for such as stormwater, flooding, waterways, Council water use, and catchments. It also considers areas where Council's decision making impacts on the water cycle - for example water supply, sewerage and groundwater.
This strategy aims to take the first, most significant step towards a water-sensitive future for Ipswich, by developing a shared understanding of the city's water cycle issues and providing a framework to identify and deliver strategic solutions to achieve long-term outcomes.
Addressing all issues in an integrated way, while working towards one clear direction for Ipswich's water management, will help optimise benefits to the community, influence innovative solutions, reduce waste and avoid duplication across water cycle stakeholders.