Projects & Advocacy

We all know that the effective management of stormwater provides a great value proposition to the community, but what are the questions that we need to ask of ourselves and government to ensure that this is well understood?

Prompted by Senator Nick Xenophon's keynote presentation at the Stormwater14 conference in Adelaide and his observation that stormwater was not prominent on the political radar, a group of industry leaders came together to frame key points of inquiry that we believe will be helpful in advocating the stormwater cause into the future.

These are:

  • What is the quantum of stormwater resource in Australia and impact potential of optimal management practices in areas of flooding, environmental impacts, waterway management and water resource planning across climatic cycles?
  • What is the role of scientific advances in improving stormwater management outcomes and integrating these into policy at all levels of government to unlock the full suite of economic benefits?
  • What is the role of stormwater as a positive contributor to resilient and desirable communities into the future, including 'public good' and productivity outcomes?
  • What model frameworks can be developed/ exist to develop economic and policy incentives for stormwater management across scales of impact and benefit?
  • What model land use planning and building controls can be developed/ exist to maximise benefits and minimise impacts in both new and legacy situations?
  • What funding and incentive models can be developed/ exist to support strategic planning and investment in desirable stormwater management, including local prioritisation?
  • How does industry develop asset management and operational approaches to ensure efficient investments and longevity of benefit?
  • What is the role of innovation in supporting desirable outcomes and transparent decision making, including access to information and novel technologies for planning, design and implementation?

In 2010 the SIA embarked on an ambitious leadership project to develop a process to allow the assessment of the performance of water quality treatment devices. Perhaps naively we settled on a segment of the industry as a ‘first cab off the rank’ to explore the development of a testing protocol.

At the time there were discussions within the National committee about how such an initiative may be accepted by the industry and we established a working group (comprised of a range of reps from all States to work with CSIRO to complete a literature review of the verification techniques and approaches that had been tried before both locally and internationally. We sought (and got) co-operation from many industry players and also sought to get feedback from asset managers to understand how performance met with expectations.

To address the changing trends in stormwater management, Melbourne Water and EPA have embarked on a joint project to update the BPEMG to consider the relevance of ‘quality only’ targets with the understanding of other parameters and place-based drivers. 

In reviewing the guidelines, Melbourne Water has identified a range of initiatives that will likely be required for implementation. 

A current challenge is the ambiguity associated with stormwater treatment measures that may or may not meet the required standards set under the guidelines.  Drawing upon international models, it has recognised a number of verification pathways for stormwater treatment measures that could be applied, and the importance of access to credible information regarding the efficacy of particular measures to treat stormwater to standards. 

As part of its industry consultation, Melbourne Water has provided the SIA with a copy of a ‘Roadmap Report’ and seeks feedback on how we can best work with industry to develop a consistent, objective, informed and science-based approach to verifying stormwater treatment measures.  

SIA has expressed an interest in working with Melbourne Water to shape any initiative they may undertake to ensure it has a national relevance.  

Responding to the needs of the industry, the SIA seek feedback and will work over coming months to aggregate interest in other jurisdictions with a view to initiating a National Pilot. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your feedback.

To read the full report go to: pdfIVS_road_map_discussion_paper_draft_5_July_13.pdf