Environmental management

We are guided by many environmental obligations, responsibilities and risks. We combine environment and sustainability with engineering to ensure we are meeting all of our obligations and doing the best we can for our incredible patch of land. 

We work hard to avoid adverse effects to the natural environment resulting from our operations and support compliance with both ACT and Commonwealth legislative requirements including the Environment Protection Act 1997 (ACT).

As part of our environmental protection program, we operate under an Environmental Management System (EMS).  

You can read more about our Environmental Management Policy (Link)

Environmental Operational and Compliance Reports

We continue to monitor and implement the environmental approval requirements for our major water security projects, and deliver 99% average for environmental compliance overall in our operations.

Licence to take water

We have requirements under our license to take water to maintain environmental flows in order to protect riverine ecosystems and to provide for downstream use.  We also have license conditions when abstracting water for domestic supply and can transfer water between water storages when required. 

Environmental flows

Our water is sourced from the Murrumbidgee River, the Cotter River reservoirs and the Googong Reservoir to provide a water supply for treatment and distribution as drinking water. At all of these locations, we ensure that the needs of the aquatic environment downstream of the dams (or the abstraction points on the Murrumbidgee River at Angle Crossing, and at the Cotter River and Murrumbidgee River confluence) are protected. This is done through the protection of environmental flows.

The protection of environmental flows is governed under Icon Water’s Licence to Take Water under the Water Resources Act 2007 and through Conditions of Approval for M2G and ECD.  The volume and timing of environmental flows required are based on extensive research and monitoring of the aquatic ecology in the water supply catchments.

The Water Resources Act 2007, through the Environmental Flow Guidelines 2013, recognises the need to effectively distribute water between the environment and Canberra’s population. Hence, in dry times, water available for Canberra’s population is reduced (through Temporary Water Restrictions) and so are the volumes of environmental flows downstream of the dams and extraction points.