Working together towards water security
A ZNET Plus initiative
Engagement think tank
In response the current COVID status in NSW, we have postponed the Let's Talk About Water think tank scheduled for Wednesday 30 June. We have erred on the side of caution because of the senior ages of several of the registered participants.
We will widely promote the new date once it is confirmed. Thank you for everyone who has expressed an interest in participating.
The think tank, which was scheduled to be held at the Uralla Bowling Club, will step up Uralla residents’ input to our Let’s Talk About Water initiative.
The workshop will give residents the chance to help plan the final phase of community engagement for the project.
ZNET has conducted considerable community engagement for Let’s Talk About Water during 2020 and 2021, including focus groups, resident and business interviews, a community survey and town hall meeting.
While all that input is being collated by ZNET members and University of NSW academics assisting with consultation for the project, the public think tank will help identify how that feedback is shared with the community and further contributions are encouraged.
It's celebrating the considerable and highly valuable input received so far, while opening the doors for fresh ideas and skills for the concluding days of consultation.In addition, this opportunity for wider public input is checking that we're still using the best methods to get information out to the community and to enable their input in return.
We held a series of well attended focus groups for 'Let's Talk About Water' on 13 - 15 May:
Evening Rural Focus Group
Town Focus GroupsKentucky Landholders Focus Group
Thank you to everyone who contributed to these valuable conversations.
ZNET partnered with the Neighbourhood Centre to run a great
community workshop for Uralla youth and parents during Youth Week on 22 April.
#1: Uralla is talking about water!
#2: Where does our water come from and go to?
In 2019/2020, the Uralla community experienced a water emergency. Much lower than average rainfall reduced the town water supply to just 100 days’ use, with the main storage dam falling below 25% of capacity.
Added to that was the complication of elevated arsenic levels in the remaining supply. While suitable for showering, washing and the like, the water was not safe for drinking or cooking.
From December 2019 to April 2020, bottled water was brought in and distributed by volunteers with the support of Council.
From this water crisis emerged discussions between farmers and rural landholders, shopkeepers, business owners, town-dwellers and the Council. ZNET Plus took a proactive role in bringing the community together to facilitate conversations with a view to creating a long-term collective plan for water sustainability.
Let's Talk About Water
In July 2020, ZNET Plus gained a $30,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Increasing Resilience to Climate Change Community Fund to further research and consultation with the Uralla community on water security.
The Let’s Talk About Water project seeks to undertake an informed, structured and broad community consultation to gauge community values for different approaches to secure water supplies, including recycled water.
The goal of the project is to deliver:
- a deeper community understating of the water cycle and options for securing water supply
- a feeling of empowerment that the community can act to improve water security
- for our Council to take the best pathway to water security
The project will produce a Water Consultation Blueprint for Uralla Shire which will allow Uralla Shire Council to explore technical options for water security with an understanding of community values.
- UNSW Global Water Institute
- Uralla Shire Council
- ZNET Plus
Funded by the NSW Government
A series of focus groups, workshops and educational activities are planned over the next 12 – 18 months as part of the Let’s Talk About Water project. Visit the community activities page and contact our Water Project Officer to register your interest.
- Water Project Officer
- water(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)zneturalla.org.au
Click to sign up to the water newsletter. You’ll also be given the option to register your interest in attending an activity.
Uralla community to be consulted on water conservation (NBN News 8 October 2020)
Council and ZNET Plus talk about water (Uralla Shire Council, 4 September 2020)
Z-NET Uralla partner with Global Water Institute and Uralla Shire Council to deliver the Blueprint for Water (Armidale Express, 22 July 2020)
Addressing water security through community consultation in Uralla (UNSW Global Water Institute, 29 June 2020)