Harnessing Our Most Precious Resource

The move to sustainability in construction and infrastructure is a trend that is inevitable and welcomed by the team at Civil Project Partners. We asked the team to tell us about the innovations and trends that they see becoming a reality for projects in the years ahead.

Harnessing Our Most Precious Resource

We live in a country of extremes.

Extreme distances, temperatures, rainfall; in fact, there have been times in Queensland when the state has been in both drought and flood. So, whatever way we look at it, water management is a critical issue, and the need for water storage, networks, and resources is vital to our state’s economic well-being and health.

Big picture projects such as the Bradfield Scheme have long been mooted as a solution to the state’s water security needs, but Ryan O’Neill believes that through the management of natural stormwater events quick wins can be achieved to enhance water security and management.

“We all agree that water is a precious resource and needed for humans to live. We also live in a state where water is either in a state of feast or famine, sometimes both. Therefore how we manage such a resource is crucial to our health, well being and economy.”

“I am in favour of major investment in water infrastructure, and at Civil Project Partners, we have been fortunate to work on the development of major water infrastructure initiatives such as water infrastructure enhancement programs. Naturally, we would encourage such investment to continue, but I also believe that there are opportunities to make incremental improvements to all infrastructure developments to help protect a vital resource.”

Ryan believes that the utilisation of green infrastructure and grey infrastructure can be a driver of positive change.

“The practice of introducing vegetation, reducing erosion, sediment runoff reaching waterways is a way to ensure that we protect the health of creeks and catchments. Native plants also produce oxygen, support wildlife and provide colour and space for our communities.”

“Across major projects, we see there are opportunities to encourage green infrastructure to become part of the development. Vegetated rooftops, roadside plantings, absorbent gardens, and other measures that capture, filter, and reduce stormwater are all achievable.”

Grey infrastructure is also a key part of the move to sustainability. Essentially grey infrastructure is human-engineered infrastructure for water resources such as water and wastewater treatment plants, pipelines, and reservoirs.

“There are a number of grey infrastructure projects which have been completed that support the harnessing of water, such as desalination plants and Rookwood Weir. Their benefit is tangible and measurable, and continued investment is essential. While the benefits of green infrastructure might be a little less tangible, often seen as landscaping budgets on projects, the benefits are real and in a state where water management is vital, should become essential investments in a sustainable future.”

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Photo credit: Hawkins Partners, Inc.

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