Terri Benson talks about the broader role water plays in communities as well as South East Water's Aquarevo project and collaborating with developers and builders.
We spoke to Terri Benson, Managing Director, South East Water and Chair of WSAA's Liveable Communities Committee at the WSAA Water Utility Chairs and MDs Symposium in Canberra on Tuesday 10 September 2019.
I think liveability is in some ways a challenge, but in more ways an opportunity. So we've launched the liveability report today around blue and green infrastructure, and how much differently we can be doing, and things that we're already doing. There's great examples across the water sector in Australia of making a real difference by how we go about what we might see as a water project. And then we see the benefits go beyond water.
So that's about how we work with others. And in that report we start to draw on those examples, and start to want to be part of a broader planning community. So we're not just planning water, we're planning all community outcomes, whether that goes to health outcomes, and places to exercise, places to grow great food, whether it goes to how hot the environment is by what we're building in that environment, making it all part of that 20 minute liveable community. So if we can get liveability in there.
So how we plan and what's happening at South East Water is Aquarevo. We talk about Aquarevo a lot. Aquarevo is a project we've been doing, which is really water revolution project, water sensitive urban design happening in a whole community. And that's coming to life now. So first house is now built and eight people are living in that community now. So we're starting to see three sources of water going into those homes, we're seeing really efficient outcomes. But the biggest learning that has been is how do we work with others?
So how do we work with developers is key. So, and how do we work with builders? When we first started that project, people said that you won't get enough builders to want to build in this estate if you put requirements on the building outcomes. You won't get enough competition. In the end, we've got 12 builders and more than 30 houses to choose from. So there's some myths out there about how you can get to liveability outcomes. So that's our liveability story.