The Working Wetlands project aims to revitalise the lake system at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. The current reduced water volume and poor visual quality of the lakes are symptoms of an ecosystem under threat.
The Working Wetlands project will harvest and store rainwater from local storm-water flows, then filter and circulate the stored water to areas within the Gardens.
Our vision is to enable the organisation to be less reliant on potable water while still sustaining high-quality landscapes and water bodies.
In recent times, issues including evaporation, lack of seasonal flushing and water circulation, and increased nutrient levels have reduced the water volume and quality within the lake system. Blue-green algal blooms are problematic during summer and low water levels have caused exposed mud flats to appear in Ornamental Lake and Nymphaea Lake.
The Working Wetlands project seeks to address these serious problems and will be RBG Melbourne’s first major step in reducing its reliance on potable water for landscape irrigation.
We plan to install a system to harvest rainwater from local urban storm-water flows and create capacity to store harvested storm-water in the RBG existing water bodies, and to circulate, filter and distribute stored water.
The lake wetland areas will be planted with aquatic species which will clean harvested water by removing harmful elements, thus ensuring its quality for irrigation within the Gardens.
These wetland areas will help attract and retain waterbirds and other native aquatic fauna in the lake system. Long-necked tortoises, eels and native water rats will find more cover and a wider range of plants around the water’s edge. Introduction of some sloping gradients to the lake edges will encourage migration and increase populations of frogs.
Increased water self-sufficiency will also improve the visual appeal of the Gardens by restoring lake water levels and water flow in Fern Gully, introducing attractive new wetlands, and improving native wildlife populations. The system will be integrated with the re-development of Guilfoyle’s Volcano reservoir, which will act as a water storage and distribution facility, a public recreation zone, and an education zone.
Last updated 04 Oct 2012