EPA South Australia releases Adelaide Coastal Water Quality Improvement Plan

Thursday, 29 August, 2013

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has released the finalised Adelaide Coastal Water Quality Improvement Plan (ACWQIP) - a culmination of over five years’ work and consultation with key stakeholders and the community for the improvement of water quality along Adelaide’s coastline.

The development of the plan has built on the findings and recommendations of the Adelaide Coastal Waters Study (ACWS) - a scientific program initiated by the EPA in 2001 and undertaken through CSIRO to understand how to respond to extensive loss of seagrass, poor water quality and sediment instability along Adelaide’s coastline.

The study found that high loads of nutrients and sediments, in discharges from industry, wastewater treatment plants and stormwater, were contributing to the poor water quality on the Adelaide coastline and loss of seagrass.

The vision of the ACWQIP, as agreed by the community, is “Healthy aquatic ecosystems where environmental, social and economic values are considered in equal and high regard in a balanced management approach that aims to see the return of the blue-line of seagrass closer to shore by 2050”.

The ACWQIP includes eight strategies for implementation over the medium to longer term to achieve the community-agreed vision, environmental values and water quality objectives. Implementation for many of the strategies is well underway, but other areas will be further developed with stakeholders in the coming months through reconvening the Adelaide Coastal Waters Steering Group, which was involved in leading the strategic development of the ACWQIP.

The plan places a strong emphasis on integrated action and partnerships across government, industry and community. Through extensive consultation, the eight strategies have been aligned with other work being done by partner agencies. The EPA will be collaborating with other agencies and local government to ensure implementation of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) and sediment management across the Adelaide region.

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