In 2014 a vision was launched - that the millions of people who live and work within 20 minutes of the Parramatta River would be able to swim in it.
Our goal is to make it happen by 2025. And it is going swimmingly.
A swimmable river is one where people and wildlife can swim, splash or simply enjoy time on the shore of the river and creeks that flow in to it. Twelve new sites have been scoped, with investigations on water quality, swim safety, ecological health and community interest in progress. The ten step masterplan will help make our vision a reality.
The ten steps are:
There are four places you can swim in the river. The more we swim in them, the more others will join us and community support will grow.
A Riverwatch monitoring program will help us protect existing swimming spots, open new swimming sites and understand what makes water quality change over time.
Our goal is to create three new swimming spots by 2025. We're already looking at 12 possible locations to make recommendation on those that will be safest and most popular swimming sites.
The Parramatta River's catchment spans 11 local council areas. To create a swimmable river we need to work together to standardise policies and practices that impact water quality.
Stormwater runoff - and all the rubbish and other pollution it can bring with it - is the number one way our river gets dirty. Water sensitive development that absorbs and uses rain where it lands will improve water quality.
When it rains, stormwater can flow into the sewer system, causing it to overflow into our creeks and rivers. Putting measures in place to stop these overflows is essential to making our river swimmable again.
Picking up your dog's droppings and not littering are just two ways community can help create a swimmable river. Helping people understand this is a key to success.
A living river needs people, fish, grasses, plants and animals to be a complete ecosystem. Improving habitats - especially for our five mascots - helps bring nature back to the river.
Regular monitoring and reporting shows us if we're winning, and helps remind everyone that this is a long term project worth investing in.
A big project needs clear leadership. Sydney Water has been identified as the best placed body to lead the coalition, but everyone needs to do their bit to achieve the mission.