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Cotter River

Nature conservation and land management

As an organisation, we are committed to protecting threatened species, ecological communities and natural environments. To accomplish this, we collaborate with a broad range of government and community stakeholders to prevent, and manage, pollution. 

Environmental flows

We make sure that the needs of the aquatic environment downstream of our dams and abstraction points are protected.  

We have requirements under our licence to take water to maintain environmental flows in order to protect riverine ecosystems and to provide for downstream use.  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 (ACT), through the ACT’s Environmental Flow Guidelines, recognises the need to effectively distribute water between the environment and Canberra’s population. Hence, in dry times, when the water available for Canberra’s population is reduced (through Temporary Water Restrictions) then so are the volumes of environmental flows downstream of the dams and extraction points. 

Rehabilitating land and offsets 

After completing our Enlarged Cotter Dam and Murrumbidgee to Googong Water transfer water security projects, following the Millenium drought, we rehabilitated over 80 hectares of land. Native grasses and forbs were sown using innovative techniques. We also planted over 30,000 trees and shrubs across both sites.

We also manage the Murrumbidgee to Googong offset property in perpetuity to offset vegetation removed for construction of the 12 km bulk water transfer pipeline in 2012. This 110-hectare conservation area in Williamsdale has high biodiversity values. It includes Box-Gum woodland, threatened flora and fauna species and their habitats. To find out more, read our Murrumbidgee to Googong Operational Environmental Management Plan

Bushfire prevention  

We recognise the importance of managing bushfire fuel on our land. Our teams develop, and implement, a Bushfire Operational Plan each year. This helps minimise the risks bushfires pose in and around our critical water and wastewater services and also to life, property and the environment.

The primary purpose of our operational plan is to reduce bushfire loads. However, we also include other actions to help minimise extreme weather hazards around our sites. 

Weed and pest management 

We meet our land management obligations to control weeds and pests on our sites by working in collaboration with our neighbours. In particularly the ACT Parks and Conservation Service with our sites and assets across the Canberra Nature Park, Namadgi National Park, the Murrumbidgee River Corridor and the Lower Cotter Catchment.

We hold a Site Management Agreement with the Conservator of Flora and Fauna under the Nature Conservation Act 2014 (ACT) to respect and maintain the values of parks and reserves during our activities in providing essential water and wastewater utility services for the community.