Water Sensitive SA

What is a water sensitive community?

Water sensitive urban design (WSUD) has multiple benefits and can enhance overall liveability of our communities.

Water sensitive communities are:


Water sensitive communities - Liveable

Green and blue natural landscapes enhance 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
  • improving human thermal comfort through micro-climate management (cooling benefits) to reduce heat related stress and poor 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.

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.