Providing easily accessible information about water resources, their use and scarcity is recognised as one of the most effective ways of encouraging people to adopt a lifestyle that embraces water conservation.
Earth Systems is a consulting company that seeks and implements innovative and effective solutions to environmental problems.
The company recognised a need to present information about Melbourne’s water supplies and conservation in a simple and effective format that engaged people on the issues, achievements and impacts associated with water use.
The challenge was to combine and present the breadth of information and issues in a single document, without compromising on detail.
Earth Systems received a grant from the Smart Water Fund to assist in creating The Water Map of Melbourne. Additional support was provided by the EPA and the City of Melbourne.
The Water Map contains extensive detail about the use of water within Greater Melbourne, including Melbourne’s water history, water supply and treatment infrastructure and water saving initiatives.
The map synthesises information from a wide range of sources, including books, reports, websites and water industry publications, presenting them in a single, easy to use resource.
Data for the map was reviewed by a Technical Steering Committee comprising water experts from professional associations, government, industry, research and non-government organisations.
The grant also allowed for production of the Water Map in hard copy and CD Rom format. Both forms are designed to be visually appealing and readily accessible to a broad spectrum of users.
The Water Map of Melbourne is a comprehensive resource for anyone with an interest in Melbourne’s use of water. The map is proving to be a particularly useful learning aid within schools, as it is easily incorporated into the curriculum.
The map documents major issues for Melbourne’s future water resource management, acting as a ready reference on key water trends, statistics and highlights locations of environmental significance.
Some of the features documented in the map include:
- Melbourne’s water history
- Aquatic biodiversity – threatened species and introduced species
- Water supply catchments – reservoirs, rivers, lakes
- Water supply treatment plants
- Water authority boundaries
- Rainfall charts
- Water quality
- Trends and future directions of water usage
The map is complemented by over 50 charts and tables separated into eight categories, including rainfall and runoff, water use and trends and future directions.
The document has significant educational value, and is expected to make a major contribution to Melburnian’s appreciation and attitudes to water in the future.
It is particularly beneficial to professionals needing a ready reference for key water trends and students wanting information about major issues facing Melbourne’s future water resource management and use.
With the support of the Victorian Department of Education and Training, The Water Map of Melbourne together with the educational CD Rom was distributed to all schools across Melbourne.
Earth Systems aims to release updated versions of the Map in the future which will incorporate feedback from the general community.