Waters (established in 1988) is a socially and environmentally responsible
ecovillage located 100kms north of Brisbane.
1995, Crystal Waters received the United Nations WORLD HABITAT AWARD for
its "pioneering work in demonstrating new ways of low impact, sustainable
living". In 1998 it was included in the UN's World's Best Practices database,
having reached the finals in this prestigious competition.
Waters has eighty-three residential lots (approx 0.5 ha each). Most of
these are freehold and occupy only 14% of the entire 259ha (640 acre)
Crystal Waters Community Co-operative owns 6% of the land. This includes
the Village Centre that is zoned for commerce, light industry, tourism
and educational activities. At this point in time, the village centre
contains a commercial kitchen where regular Friday night and Sunday brunch
cafes are held, a bakery, a cheesery, rural fire brigade and an information
centre. The Co-op also owns the visitors camping area which is situated
amongst tall grey gums and is alive with bird and wildlife. This area
contains a bunkhouse, ablutions block, and camping sites.
remaining 80% of the property is owned in common by residents. It includes
the best agricultural land, all waterways and steep forested ridges. It
can be licensed for sustainable agriculture, forestry, recreation and
land was first cleared in the 1960's and due to heavy grazing of horses
and cows it became degraded and eroded. Through the permaculture design
and ongoing efforts of the 200 residents, Crystal Waters has been transformed
into a vibrant place to live with a multitude of businesses, food producing
gardens and wilderness habitat. The forests along the steep ridges and
riparian zones are being restored using species endemic to this area.
A dramatic increase in the diversity of flora and fauna has been observed
as well as significant improvement in land quality. A balance is being
established between food production, housing and wilderness and the land
productivity has been dramatically increased.
by-laws encourage residents to be ecologically responsible for the provision
of their needs and the disposal of waste. These by-laws are guidelines
for sustainable living, but even more effective is the reality of living
where your decisions affect 'your own backyard' -where there is directly
observable relationship between consumption and waste. At Crystal Waters,
you can't just flush the problem away - if chemicals are poured down the
sink, it flows into the adjacent garden or orchard thus contaminating
the food supply. The effects of careless actions are seen very quickly
and clearly, reinforcing the notion that "there is no away".
thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds come from around Australia
and the world to learn about sustainable living and environmental design
at Crystal Waters. The Crystal Waters College offers a range of programs
throughout the year. Most programs are practically based and offer the
opportunity to learn by experience.
to main page