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Utility plans green space for stormwater basins

Water Corporation is crowd-sourcing ideas for transforming land alongside stormwater drains and drainage basins into recreational spaces.

The joint project with the West Australian Department of Water aims to improve liveability by providing urbanised communities with more green areas for recreation.

“We are aiming to increase the availability of vegetated areas and access to waterways to be enjoyed by the community,” said Suzanne Brown, Water Corporation Manager Drainage and Liveable Communities.

“Many of our drains and basins are located in these urban areas and the green spaces around them are often well situated to be used for public recreation.

“Green space in urban areas is becoming particularly important as housing lots become smaller and people no longer have huge backyards.”

The first project will be a ‘pop-up’ park constructed by the City of Bayswater, in partnership with Water Corporation, off Russell Street in Morley.

Other early suggestions include picnic areas, bike paths along drain reserves, schools ‘adopting’ drains and living stream conversions.

Local councils and communities are encouraged to propose more innovative ideas on how to take advantage of the spaces.

“We are collaborating ... to ascertain the level of interest and seek feedback on local community needs around the use of green spaces,” Brown said.

“We don’t want to dictate to the community and offer solutions they don’t want, which is why consultation at this stage is important.”

Aside from improving liveability, it's hoped the project will help improve stormwater management.

“There is potential to increase the use of living streams by developers, as a way of mimicking nature to improve water quality and encourage local flora and fauna,” Brown said.

Stormwater drains and drainage basins will be chosen for development into community spaces based on a number of criteria.

“It will depend on the availability of land around the drains, and the land use surrounding the total area. For example, our first project has a significant portion of green space adjacent to the compensation basin and is the ideal space for a park,” Brown said.

“As our number one priority is safety, projects will be considered within safety constraints.”

For more information on how to get involved, visit the Water Corporation website.