Water Sensitive SA

2020-21 highlights


Water Sensitive SA reached major milestones for four priority projects in 2020-21:

Benefit: cost analysis tool (Priority Project 1)

The monetised benefits of urban greening and water sensitive urban design continue to be demonstrated through application of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities’ INFFEWS Benefit: cost analysis (BCA) tool.

The BCA tool was applied to the Salisbury East WSUD Precinct Plan to demonstrate the value of retrofitting an infill precinct through daylighting of a creek, raingardens, swales and infiltration systems to better manage excess stormwater generated by urban densification while delivering urban greening benefits.

South Australian MUSIC Guidelines (Priority Project 5)

The South Australian MUSIC Guidelines, released in March 2021, were the most downloaded document on our website.

Support the adoption of WSUD policy framework within the planning system (Priority Project 7)

The Planning and Design Code was released in March 2021. Our technical advice supported the inclusion of planning policy for:

  • Stormwater runoff pollution reduction performance-based policy (Part 4 – General Development Policies, Design)
  • Deemed-to-satisfy solutions for stormwater management for small-scale development (Part 3 – Overlays, Stormwater Management Overlay)
  • Various performance objectives to achieve greater proportion of site perviousness, and integration between stormwater management and landscaped areas.

Inspection & maintenance guidelines for WSUD assets (Priority Project 11)

We began developing our Inspection and maintenance guidelines for WSUD assets, starting with biofilters. The guidelines cover an overview of asset management, a description of each asset type and its functional components, inspection sheets and maintenance requirements, plus a visual catalogue of asset functional component condition.

2020-21 annual review 2020-21 highlights - training, seminars, community engagement infographic


The Leadership | Building capacity to achieve water sensitive cities course is building the capacity of the next generation of SA’s greening and urban water leaders. The first of three modules, Introduction to leadership in the water sector and self-leadership, delivered in May 2021, was fully subscribed.

Practitioners undertook training to raise awareness of the capability of the Insite Water tool and the MUSIC Auditor tool, which have been customised for application in South Australia.

Presenters challenged current understanding of best practice permeable paving design, construction and maintenance during a permeable paving site tour and presentation from industry, researchers and practitioners in May 2021.

3-year program review

During April to June 2021, Wave Consulting analysed and reported on the performance of the Water Sensitive SA program against its strategic measures of success and relevant key performance indicators based on interviews with our partners, and a survey of SA practitioners and community members.

The independent 3-year review report (PDF) includes recommendations regarding areas where the program should focus resources in the future.


We continued to work closely with the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities to share the outcomes of new research outputs centred on enhancing liveability for Adelaide communities through greening sustained by water sensitive urban design. In particular, our research focused on comprehensive economic evaluation framework, guiding integrated urban and water planning, and achieving water sensitive outcomes for in-fill developments.

Our partners

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our program and project partners.

Water Sensitive SA partners and project partners

Expenditure – 2020-21

Water Sensitive SA expenditure 2020-21 - graph

DownloadAnnual review – 2020-21 highlights PDF

Acknowledgement of Country

Water Sensitive SA acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nations of the lands and waters we live and work upon, and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country.