Water Sensitive SA

Water for Living Communities – join the campaign

Partners and supporters of Water Sensitive SA share a vision of places for people that boast quality green spaces, naturally protect and enhance the health of our watercourses and marine environments, and minimise flood risk.

We want you to join our campaign to bring water sensitive urban design into the mainstream. What is water sensitive urban design? (YouTube video – UK)

By supporting the Water for Living Communities campaign you will join many Councils, industry associations and individuals who want to see South Australia’s Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) policy brought into South Australia’s planning system and the South Australian edition of the Building Code of Australia.

By doing this we give the Policy the best chance of achieving its key goals which are to:

maximise fit-for-purpose use of alternative water (recycled wastewater/stormwater, rainwater), to conserve our water resources,
provide balance to the urban water cycle encouraging infiltration of stormwater to maintain soil moisture, replenish groundwater and ultimately local creek base flows, minimising watercourse erosion
provide stormwater treatment prior to discharge to urban waterways and the marine environment to protect our natural environments
reduce local flood risk

How will this reshape our places?

The benefits of adopting WSUD policy into planning systems and codes would accrue to homeowners, neighbourhoods and entire communities

Allotment scale

  • Communities will avoid the need for future water restrictions on potable water supplies as they will have access to alternative sources for indoor use (toilet, laundry,hot water services) and outdoor use (gardens, car washdown).
  • Rainwater will be captured and re-used on site (indoors, outdoors or both)
  • Rainwater tank overflow will be diverted into an infiltration or detention unit.
  • Driveways use porous pavements and runoff will be diverted to infiltration zones or vegetated biorention swales.
  • Water efficient landscaping becomes expected and – eventually – standard.
  • Paved areas use porous pavers that help water infiltrate to replenish groundwater sources.

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Streetscape scale

  • Streets have wider verges or medians for stormwater treatment, infiltration and storage.
  • Streets have healthy vegetation supported by sustainable water management tat provide shaded refuges.  These will be achieved through the application of:
    • onsite infiltration measures including swales and buffer strips
    • porous pavements
    • bioretention systems such as sand filters,  basins or raingardens
  • Gross pollutant traps (GPTs), litter baskets within the stormwater pipe network.

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How can I support the campaign?

There are many ways you can help make a Water Sensitive South Australia a reality. This stage of the Water for Living Communities seeks your support in building the case for the South Australian Government to adopt WSUD principles into planning systems and the Building Code. You can help in one or all of the following ways:

  1. Get behind our direct advocacy for the SA WSUD policy adoption within the planning system and building code by pledging your support for the proposal. This is the strongest support you can give, as your expertise lends weight to our calls for change. With public support from people like you, our message gains even more legitimacy and urgency
  2. Support our indirect advocacy activities by working within your own networks to raise awareness of the benefits of water sensitive urban design principles and practices and the SA WSUD policy. The importance of a groundswell of support can not be understated.  We would encourage you to use some  of the key messages and targeted stakeholder messages within the Water Sensitive SA Stakeholder Engagement Plan  and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss ways you can help.
  3. Review and update your organisation’s current strategies, policies, plans and practices to ensure WSUD principles and practices are integrated into your business and operations.With more places benefiting from these principles and practices, our case for their formal engagement becomes stronger. Those people the places that benefit from Water for Better Places also become powerful advocates for the principles and practices.

To learn more about what others are doing in this space click here to find links to some of our top picks for leading WSUD strategies, policies, plans and projects.

Have you got a project or case study in excellence in water sensitive urban design that you would like to share? You can provide details on our case study register.