Water Sensitive SA

What is a water sensitive community?

Water sensitive urban design has multiple benefits and can enhance overall liveability of our communities. Water sensitive communities are:


Water sensitive communities - Liveable

Green and blue natural landscapes enhancing human health and wellbeing by:

  • providing mental health benefits
  • facilitating the physical recovery from illness
  • providing recreational (passive and active) areas
  • providing spaces for community socialisation and connectivity of community spaces
  • improve human thermal comfort through micro-climate management (cooling benefits) to reduce heat related stress and mortality
  • improving air quality.


Water sensitive community - Resilient

Integrated infrastructure that:

  • provides protection against flooding
  • provides a diversity of water sources at a range of scales to increase resilience under a uncertain future climate
  • supply of recycled water resources (treated effluent and stormwater) providing freedom from water restrictions
  • Recycles and reuses treated sewage effluent as a non-climate dependent resource.

Water sensitive communities - Productive

Enhance productivity and economic prosperity by:

  • supporting industry: manufacturing including food production, and irrigated crops
  • deferring or eliminating the need for drainage infrastructure augmentation to accommodate increased catchment impervious area coverage, attributed to urban consolidation
  • providing high quality public open space, particularly those that include water, can increase adjacent residential property values, enhance commercial precincts and improve tourism opportunities
  • avoiding capital or operating costs for potable supply schemes or defer supply augmentation costs through fit-for-purpose use of alternative water
  • strategic and opportunistic investment in infrastructure renewals
  • market advantages for residential developers who make a contribution to sustainability or offer the amenity benefits of recycled water.

More healthy natural ecosystems in urban environments that:

  • protect urban waterways from degradation, through decreased total stormwater runoff and improved flow regimes (more natural high-flows and low-flows)
  • reduce pollutant loads entering freshwater and marine environments
  • replenish depleting groundwater with fresh water
  • extend baseflows in urban streams and wetlands
  • provide at source re-use of alternative water supplies to minimise energy use
  • conserve our valuable water resource
  • increase carbon sequestration.