Fall in love with water infrastructure this Valentine’s Day

14 February 2024

We’re overflowing with love for water infrastructure at the National Water Grid, and of course Valentine’s Day is no exception. To celebrate, we’re sharing 3 reasons to fall in love with water infrastructure.

1. Water infrastructure has a rich history

Water infrastructure has a long history of supporting communities across the globe to live and thrive where they love.

For example, our love for weirs has certainly stood the test of time. These wonderful feats of engineering have existed for thousands of years!

At the heart of it, weirs are barriers used to control water levels. Their design can come in many different forms, including rectangular, trapezoidal or circular. In the early 1900s, an advanced weir design was considered so worthy of admiration that it was featured on the Australian half sovereign and 10 shilling banknotes.

Twenty-first century weirs have come a long way since then and are now built with even more lovable design features — just ask the turtles at Rookwood Weir (Managibei Gamu) in Queensland. This extraordinary weir was carefully designed with the local environment in mind and includes a special turtle passage to support 2 threatened species of turtle. Now complete, the local turtles can safely cross the weir with their loved ones, or perhaps to meet that special someone. Now that’s a design worth shellebrating this Valentine’s Day!

2. Water infrastructure provides a regional heartbeat

Our love for water infrastructure flows from our love for our communities – love can’t bloom without water after all! We are strong advocates that access to clean water is a human right and is necessary for communities to thrive. We fund water infrastructure that enables access to clean and safe water that supports our communities and our economy. It can act as the heartbeat of regional towns and communities and allows people to stay where they love.

Water infrastructure supports:

  • development of housing and other community buildings
  • healthcare services
  • a healthy diet
  • creation of jobs and support for local economies
  • recreational facilities
  • strong agriculture
  • changes to the environment from climate change.

To grow love in our regions, we first need to water our roots. There are First Nations communities in remote parts of Australia without access to clean, reliable drinking water. Building water infrastructure for these communities supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to live on Country, where their families have lived and loved for many generations. Sustainable water infrastructure is an important piece of the puzzle to Closing the Gap.

The National Water Grid funds projects to help regional and remote communities secure access to water. Recent examples include funding for projects at Mount Morgan in Queensland and Milingimbi in the Northern Territory.

Community spotlight: Mount Morgan, Queensland

The 3,000 residents of Mount Morgan have been relying on trucks to bring in their drinking water for more than 2 and a half years. Water is a right, not a gift (that’s what heart-shaped chocolates are for) so we’re helping to fund the infrastructure they need for a secure water supply. The town’s residents will soon have a secure source of quality drinking water thanks to new and upgraded water infrastructure as part of the Mount Morgan Water Supply Pipeline project.

Find out more about the infrastructure used in the Mount Morgan Water Supply Pipeline project.

The residents of Mount Morgan will be able to continue living where they love thanks to new water infrastructure on the way.
The residents of Mount Morgan will be able to continue living where they love thanks to new water infrastructure on the way.

Community spotlight: Milingimbi, Northern Territory

The project will improve the reliability of Milingimbi’s water supply for generations to come. The project will drill right to the heart of the issue by drilling 10 new bores and equipping 2 existing bores. Our hearts also rise at the thought of the new rising main and overhead powerline which will be built for the community. This new water infrastructure will:

  • support housing development to reduce overcrowding
  • enable community development and expansion of services
  • support liveability and the community’s resilience to climate change.

Find out more about the water infrastructure used in the Milingimbi Water Security Strategy project.

3. Water infrastructure allows pre-loved water to be reused

Recycling is an important part of loving the planet and we’re head over heels for the infrastructure that lets us recycle water more effectively.

A marriage between infrastructure and nature positive innovation, recycled water treatment plants filter wastewater so we can love our water again (and again). The Horsham SmartWater project in Victoria is an innovative National Water Grid project within the state’s Connections package. By constructing desalination and dissolved air flotation treatment facilities, this project will improve the quality of recycled water, along with providing additional drainage and pipelines to help the community.

One of the great things we love about recycled water is also how versatile it is. Recycled water can be used for things like public green spaces, sporting fields and agriculture. It may have even been used to water the rose gardens at the park where you’ve planned a Valentine’s Day picnic!

The Horsham SmartWater project will create sustainable, high-quality water for irrigation, so the local crops, plants and the environment can love the water too. The project will also enable the area to expand agricultural research and innovation. Likewise, town wastewater will be lovingly reused for irrigation of green areas in Horsham, such as the racecourse and cemetery.

Learn more