The City of Kalamunda has taken out the WA Innovating for Sustainability Awards at the Australia Water Association Awards.
Managed Aquifer Recharge project (MAR) is a unique project for Western Australia, developed by the City of Kalamunda to ensure the sustainability of the Hartfield Park Sporting Reserve into the future. Water is an extremely precious resource. This project actively manages this resource by reducing hard surface runoff while simultaneously restoring water levels in Perth’s heavily depleted ground water system.
Mayor John Giardina said, “We are extremely proud to receive the award, and I congratulate the CEO Rhonda Hardy, Director Dennis Blair, Project Manager Daniel Nelson and all who have assisted to date.”
“The Hartfield Park MAR scheme is Western Australia’s first local government-managed MAR scheme using aquifer storage and recovery.”
The project showcases the dynamic and ethical leadership that is required to enable innovation in the public sector. It was developed by a City officer, who with the support of the team convinced the Executive and Council that is was worth the investment. This is something that had not been done before and showcased all the City’s core values of Service, Respect, Diversity and Ethics.
“The City had to overcome several engineering challenges in the design and construction of the infrastructure necessary to meet the requirements outlined by the water resource management operating strategy for a stormwater harvesting and managed aquifer recharge trial. This innovation can be transferred and shared for the benefit of Western Australians. The City is now investigating a water recycling strategy that utilises the harvested water at Hartfield Park more broadly throughout the City municipality.”
There are very limited examples of operational MAR projects in Western Australia and as such, successful application this technology requires innovation and research to support bespoke design.
The City of Kalamunda manages Hartfield Park Reserve (HPR), a large multi-use reserve that accommodates a variety of sporting and recreation facilities, servicing an extensive area. The Hartfield Park Master Plan (2010) and Community Facilities Plan (2011) identified the need to increase the amount of active playing field space at HPR and recommended that alternative water sources be identified to ensure the long term sustainability of maintaining the site.
A concept was developed to harvest valuable stormwater from the onsite Water Corporation Woodlupine main drain. This water would normally be channelled away into the urban water run-off system. The project recommended water to be extracted from the drain in the winter months and re-injected into the onsite Leederville aquifer under the Department of Water Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) policy. The proposed aquifer recharge system would capture and filter the water, re-inject it into the aquifer and increase the City’s license to take water allocation under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914 (RIWI). This specific type of project has not been successfully implemented yet in Western Australia.
The aquifer testing and numerical groundwater modelling indicated that MAR to the Leederville aquifer was feasible using injection bores to recharge the stormwater direct to the aquifer. Between 115,000 kL and 230,000 kL of water per annum could be potentially recharged for future use. The approval of these volumes by the Department of Water has been supported by the innovative monitoring approach undertaken by the City, established through the Water Resource Management Operating Strategy (WRMOS) for the Stormwater Harvesting and Managed Aquifer Recharge Trial.
MAR is providing an innovative solution to Perth’s drying climate. This innovation is being shared with other local municipalities looking to deliver similar solutions to the water management challenges we face as Western Australians.