Is storm water flowing to the sea really wasted?

Engineers Australia awarded Adelaide’s storm water infrastructure a D. We harvest more storm water than any other state yet our infrastructure is lagging and there is an increasing push to harvest more and more storm water for reuse within urban Adelaide.

Yet is storm water flowing to the sea really wasted? Freshwater flows into marine environments provides connectivity between marine, estuarine and freshwater systems. It’s important to maintain salinity gradients, transport nutrients and maintain productivity.

However for a city that is facing increasing water scarcity, storm water is an important resource to ensure water supplies. Some of the advantages storm water reuse include, reduced flow of pollutants into the Gulf, it is less susceptible to climate change effects and is more energy efficient that desalination.

The first Water Wednesday forum for 2010 examined whether or not storm water flowing to the sea is really wasted. If you would like a detailed explanation, you can download the podcasts and pdfs from this forum here. Experts on storm water use like Professor Graeme Dandy, Alan Ockenden and Chris Bice gave their perspectives on the engineering, infrastructure and ecological aspects of storm water reuse.

For more information the Engineers Australia report visit adelaidenow