Water Sensitive SA

The issues

Issue 1 – The case for WSUD (cost/benefits) is not widely understood

Barriers to WSUD

  • budget priorties
  • uncosted/unvalued benefits
  • The integration of water sensitive urban design into our urban landscape can deliver more liveable, resilient, sustainable and productive cities.
  • The potential of WSUD to deliver on state government visions and strategies for climate change adaptation, health and wellbeing, placemaking, marine water quality and economic prosperity has not yet been fully realised.
  • The development of a solid case for WSUD that draws upon the outcomes of trusted research and cost benefit analysis is needed to support decision makers and underpin our transition to a water sensitive community.

Issue 2 – Lack of regulatory drivers for consistency in WSUD uptake and adoption


of practitioners believe planning controls are the most effective policy option to advance WSUD

  • The SA WSUD Policy was released in November 2013 and provides performance target measures for water conservation, stormwater runoff quality (pollution reduction) and stormwater runoff quantity. Alternatively, refer to our snapshot of the SA WSUD policy principles and targets.
  • To date, the pathway for SA WSUD policy adoption has yet to be defined, however the need for incorporation within the statutory planning system and the building code has been identified.
  • Consistent planning policy, interpretation, assessment and application is needed across local government boundaries to achieve equity for the development industry and multiple benefits for the community.
  • Advocacy is needed at an industry-wide level to create momentum towards achieving more water sensitive outcomes at the local level.

Issue 3 – Need for training and opportunities for peer-to-peer learning

Reduced WSUD construction costs

Improved maintenance regimes

Deliver WSUD on time

Deliver WSUD on budget

  • While several organisations currently offer technical WSUD training, there is no central place for practitioners to mix with other disciplines and discuss issues.
  • Poor design, construction, operation and maintenance of WSUD infrastructure presents a financial risk to local government. Infrastructure that needs modification due to lack of knowledge and skills will increase the cost of WSUD – an avoidable cost if practitioners are supported with suitable training and networking with peers on WSUD issues.
  • A forum (face-to-face and online) is required to support peer-to-peer learning to establish a community of practice.

Issue 4 – Need for resources to support practitioners

  • Multiple industries and professional groups have a responsibility to deliver on WSUD objectives. A single central facility for sharing of WSUD information and resources is needed for SA.
  • There is a lack of awareness and application of existing guidelines and a desire to regionalise several of the interstate guidelines to SA’s context.
  • Collaboration with interstate WSUD capacity building programs can strengthen the Water Sensitive SA program and gain efficiency in the development of guidelines and tools.