Do you support WSUD performance targets in planning policy? Vote now
On 27 January 2017, Water Sensitive SA partner, Rural City of Murray Bridge, joined an exclusive club of SA Councils to adopt stormwater runoff quality and quantity performance measures within the Natural Resources Management policy section of their development plan. The new planning policy was developed as part of a regional Integrated Water Management Development Plan Amendment (IWMDPA).
In 2009, as the impacts of the millennium drought were being felt by many communities across the SA Murray-Darling Basin, funds were made available through the then Federal Government under the Strengthening Basin Communities (SBC) Program to support Councils to update strategic and operational plans to build resilience in an uncertain climate future.
Eleven Councils within the SA MDB were awarded $1.6 million in grant funds to deliver a series of projects, including the development of integrated water management plans (IWMPs), to maximise the use of alternative water resources within their communities. In these peri-urban and rural communities, Councils have responsibility for wastewater schemes in addition to stormwater, providing for flexibility in fit-for-purpose water supply options.
As part of the SBC program, the Councils, led by Rural City of Murray Bridge, in conjunction with the SA Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board, initiated the IWMDPA to provide a mechanism to ensure new development is consistent with the relevant IWMP. It was recognised the provision of corresponding development plan policy was critical to the successful implementation of the strategies and actions within their IWMPs.
“The creation and implementation of the updated planning policy is critically important as it now provides Council with a mechanism to negotiate the inclusion of water sensitive urban design measures in new developments, ” says Geoff Parsons, Manager Development & Regulation, Rural City of Murray Bridge.
The adoption of the SA Water sensitive urban design (WSUD) policy performance targets in the peri-urban areas of the SA MDB region paves the way for the introduction of similar policy throughout greater Adelaide, to help deliver upon the state governments target for a 20% increase in tree canopy cover.
The proposed Planning and Design Code (P&DC), under the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 will be fundamental to the mainstream adoption of WSUD in new developments. To facilitate the transition to greener, water sensitive communities, the objectives and principles of development control for stormwater runoff pollutant load reduction targets and flow management will be an essential inclusion in the P&DC.
Take part in our online vote to determine what proportion of SA practitioners support the introduction of WSUD targets, including stormwater runoff quality and quantity in planning policy. Vote now.