Water sensitive urban design now essential

When it next rains: Filthy stormwater litter along the Georges River foreshores is a common sight.
When it next rains: Filthy stormwater litter along the Georges River foreshores is a common sight.

Thanks to volunteers who constantly step up time and time again to clean up the filthy stormwater litter along the Georges River foreshores. 

Recently it was Oatley Flora and Fauna together with the Oatley Kayak Crew who recognised the “upstream” nature of the problem, and cleaned up in the Bankstown Council area. 

Next time they could move even further afield to any of the other sources of stormwater pollution.

Rubbish inevitably just keeps migrating downstream from the council areas that line the river; Campbelltown, Liverpool and Fairfield. 

When it next rains, if the volunteers haven’t got just too depressed and exhausted by the relentless effort required, they can start the cycle again.

When will both our federal and state goverments accept their responsibilities and act in a determined and over-arching way to implement the solutions that do exist but are beyond the capabilities of local communities and their councils? 

Best stormwater management practice goes far beyond container deposit legislation which is only just a good start. 

With every new development, the principle of “Water Sensitive Urban Design must be implemented.

That involves a clever mix of rain gardens and more soft landscaping, filtering vegetation buffers between development and drainage lines and  wetlands to settle and strip out pollutants as well as  litter capture systems in drains.

It also involves legislation that limits over-packaging in the first place and continued efforts to educate the community so that they see the need to behave in ways that protect the waterways that they also expect to enjoy. 

Sharyn Cullis, Oatley