SA Water awarded for reservoir reserves
The opening of South Australia’s reservoir reserves for recreational access is celebrating success after receiving the Organisational Excellence Award at the Australian Water Association’s 2023 National Water Awards.
The award recognises the transformation of these spaces into community assets enjoyed by more than 1,000,000 visitors to date.
Since the first site’s opening in April 2019, the community has access to 2100 ha of land, 900 ha of open water and 95 km of trail network to explore across 10 reservoir reserves.
“This award is further credit to our dedicated team whose work underpinned opening up reservoir reserves for our communities to enjoy, and continues to protect drinking water quality,” said SA Water’s Senior Manager of Environment and Energy, James Crocker.
With growing desire for green open spaces, water utilities have an opportunity to enable access to such sites. Some of the SA reserves were closed to the public for more than 100 years, according to Crocker.
“Our methodical approach was supported by an innovative water quality risk management framework which integrated hydrodynamic monitoring, quantitative microbial risk assessment and computer vision technology. This program has proven recreational access can safely complement the primary role of working reservoirs, when carefully planned and supported by the best available science,” he said.
Crocker labelled this a “blueprint” for the water industry to protect drinking water while delivering health and social outcomes for the community.
“There’s no greater praise for our initiative than the vast number of visitors embracing the new opportunities to connect with nature and enjoy a range of activities, like bike riding and kayaking, at these special places.”
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