Water Sensitive SA

What is a water sensitive community?

Water sensitive communities are sustainable, resilient, productive and liveable. (CRC for Water Sensitive Cities)

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



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


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


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.


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.