Interactive mapping for government water authority

In a sunburnt country, a land of ‘droughts and flooding rains’, a government water management authority has launched a new responsive web presence which effectively communicates the complexity of environmental water (e-water) management.

E-water is a share of water which is specifically and purposefully managed by humans to benefit the environment, by either reserving water or releasing volumes into rivers, creeks and wetlands. The Lachlan Riverine Working Group (LRWG) acts in an advisory capacity to manage environmental water in the Lachlan, assisting with the implementation of the Lachlan Environmental Watering Management Plan (LEWMP) and Lachlan Annual Environmental Water Plan.

Membership of the LRWG is comprised of representatives of the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority, which provides administrative support and inter-agency liaison, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the NSW Office of Water, Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries), State Water Corporation, and Aboriginal, community (including consumptive water users) and landholder representatives. To remain independent, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, as part of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, has an observer role within the LRWG.

The LRWG has received recognition for its work, as both a finalist in the national Banksia Environmental Awards 2012 and recipient of The NSW Green Globe Award 2012.

Digital Tsunami developed a sophisticated, responsive and technically advanced web presence for the organisation, implementing an interface by Sydney design house, Fresco Creative.

The new site features interactive Google maps overlaid with location markers for: catchment areas, rivers and creeks, weirs and dams, fishways; nationally and regionally significant wetlands; as well as past and current watering events. These maps enable the plotting of water courses and the setting of irregular catchment areas, to dynamically demonstrate the impact of the water releases upon both farming land and the environment.

Dynamic ‘accordion’ panels are utilised for many pages, including the glossary and publications; sortable tabs enable segmentation of FAQ, news items and videos; on larger screens a full-screen vectored background graphic in visible; reverse chronological order is applied to the newsletter archive; and all text, images, documents and videos are managed by a hierarchically structured, sophisticated and easy-to-use WordPress content management system (CMS).

In the past, Digital Tsunami has delivered marketing communications solutions to other government departments in Australia, Belgium and Hong Kong, in the sectors of education and training, infrastructure and tourism.

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