Short Virtual Presentation & Digital Poster 10th Australian Stream Management Conference 2021

An overview of the shoalhaven reclaimed water management scheme (rems) protecting river bay and ocean. (#57)

David B Fleeting 1
  1. David Fleeting Architects, Bondi, NSW, Australia



  1. Shoalhaven REMS was initiated as a means of addressing the problem of sewage outfall into Jervis Bay, a world heritage marine environment; the Shoalhaven River, host to a signature oyster industry; and, the Pacific Ocean. There were three main drivers for the scheme: Public outcry over sewage outfall; Development constraints until a solution found; and, Utilising reclaimed water for agriculture.
  2. The project involved a significant “buy in” from the rate payers, financially, from the public on the issue of reclaimed water, via a thorough awareness campaign. Federal, State and Local governments were aligned, committed to a deliverable outcome.
  3. Two industries have historically occupied the Shoalhaven delta, the oyster industry around Greenwell Point; and the dairy Industry on the floodplain. The Oyster Industry is a “canary in the mine” for water quality. The Dairy Industry offered an agricultural opportunity for the utilisation of Reclaimed Water, for “drought proofing”.
  4. The Shoalhaven is complex; towns, industry, agriculture, wilderness, river, coast, and tourism. The population in the vicinity of REMS, is in the order of 60,000, people tripling in summer. This is a real world model that is scalable, based on simple technology and public and industry consultation. A twenty year project delivers a network of linked waste water treatment plants, holding infrastructure, and reclaimed water distribution system, a drought resistant dairy industry; an oyster industry with lower risk; and, a clear environmental outcome for River, Bay and Ocean.
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