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Technical services and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, water, resources, defence and government sectors.

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Brilliant minds finding solutions to complex problems, made easy to understand. Making complex easy.

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Hawkesbury River, NSW Australia

Hawkesbury-Nepean River

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RPS has developed a comprehensive social analysis and community action strategy to support Sydney Water’s Hawkesbury-Nepean Nutrient Management Program.

Hawkesbury River, NSW Australia

Solution

Led by our social research specialists, the initial catchment analysis interrogated data from nine Local Government Areas (LGAs) to formulate a clear picture of the catchment’s social makeup, values, views and priorities. The report included a review of literature exploring social values, quantitative analysis of demographic data and a detailed customer segmentation analysis.

Armed with this information, we used further research and engagement activities to better understand local views on the economic, social, environmental and cultural value of the river system, and how these views can inform positive nutrient management. We also explored community expectations of river health and nutrient management outcomes to help Sydney Water design activities that can be completed with as little cost to the community as possible.

Intercept surveys were conducted at key points along the river to capture user perceptions and concerns, while interactive workshops were conducted with representatives from local authorities and Aboriginal Land Councils to understand river management practices. Our team also established and facilitated five Community Reference Groups, managed online engagement platforms and designed computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) surveys to capture the views of residents.

Our findings have not only improved Sydney Water’s understanding of community values and expectations for nutrient management in the Hawkesbury Nepean, but provided a strong foundation upon which it can partner with the community on waterway improvement projects and initiatives into the future.

9

Local Government Areas (LGAs) analysed

5

Community Reference Groups

168

Intercept surveys completed at nine locations across the study area

603

Resident phone surveys