07 Nov Abi Killen
Senior Project Officer, DNRME
Water security, climate change and natural disasters – Building community resilience – Bulk water supply governance for a resilient South East Queensland
Brisbane is the ‘River City’. Its backbone is the Brisbane River system. It provides South East Queensland with a little over half of the available regional bulk water supplies, fertile lands for cultivation, waterways for transportation and international trade, tourism and recreation. It also impacts significantly on riverine ecosystems and the health of Moreton Bay. In short, it is the reason Brisbane and Ipswich exist. Much of the remainder of development in South East Queensland such as Caboolture, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast also started around river systems and in coastal areas. South East Queensland needs resilient bulk water supplies to support regional prosperity and a stable economy. Such supplies are in turn dependent on resilient river systems particularly to maintain healthy waterways and the quality of raw water supplies. This paper discusses the reforms, the greatly improved systems which underpin regional water supply security planning, and the many measures which advance the resilience of our rivers in South East Queensland. Significant strides have been made in response to adversity over the last two decades aided by advancements in technology, understanding of our ecological systems and human behaviour and the interdependence of our networked supplies across catchments.