Water Sensitive SA

Introduction to WSUD for planners & development assessment engineers

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Introduction to WSUD for planners & development assessment engineers

Regrettably, this course had been cancelled due to low registration numbers as at 26 May 2015.  We propose to break down the course into a series of seminars. If you have feedback on the relevance of/your interest in the topics listed below, please Program Manager, Mellissa Bradley.



Dr Sheryn Pitman, SA Museum
The case for green, blue and living infrastructure in cities

Mellissa Bradley, Water Sensitive SA
Allotment Scale WSUD solutions

Andrew King, City of West Torrens
WSUD in commercial development in City of West Torrens

Graeme Hopkins, Fifth Creek Studio
Living architecture – green roofs and walls

Andrew Bishop & Steven Porch, Renewal SA
Bowden Urban Village site visit – working towards a Green Star Community rating through integrated water cycle management

Joanna Rex, Natural Resources, Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
Development and watercourse interface

Robin Allison, DesignFlow
Stormwater treatment three ways, meeting performance targets at a range of scales

Learning objective

To gain an ability to interpret WSUD policy and understand how it can be applied at a range of scales: Allotment, simple/small-scale subdivision, greenfield, brownfield and commercial developments

Who should attend?

  • Policy planners: to understand the opportunities to integrate the SA WSUD policy into Council Development Plans via an update to the NRM Module within the Planning Policy library
  • Development assessment planners and engineers: to support the interpretation and application of WSUD policy.

Course content

  • Why do we need WSUD in the urban landscape and what are the benefits?
  • Existing planning policy for WSUD
  • The SA WSUD policy and how it translates into planning policy
  • Examples of typical WSUD solutions for a range of development scenarios from allotment scale, through to greenfield and commercial developments.
  • Site visit – Bowden Village
  • Interactive sessions about the implications, opportunities and constraints of the new approach, to develop a shared vision of WSUD within each participating organisation
  • Engineering performance standards in pre-application advice
  • Tools to support applicants and assessors,
  • Guidance on how to review applications

Exercise – appraising development proposals in case study developments

Core competencies attained

  • An understanding of key principles guiding WSUD
  • An understanding of the importance of WSUD as a tool to deliver more liveable cities: Greening of streetscapes and other public open space, pollution reduction, watercourse protection, flood attenuation/management, and reduced heat island effect.
  • Knowledge of the key WSUD treatment train elements and their basic application.
  • Knowledge of the function of WSUD water conservation, run-off quality and quantity performance targets, derived from the SA WSUD policy, within council development plans as the drivers for change.
  • Knowledge of supporting documentation to seek from developers to effectively assess whether the WSUD policy has been met.
  • An understanding of how to interpret MUSIC (Model for Urban Stormwater Improvement Conceptualisation) outputs for compliance with WSUD performance targets

Learning activities

Workshop example development scenarios and assessments

Delivery method

  • face-to-face delivery via a presentation
  • break-out workshop sessions.
  • guest speakers.
  • site visit – Bowden Village

Learning resources

  • Model NRM Policy module amendment to include SA WSUD Policy
  • Presentation slides in electronic and hardcopy.
  • Development assessment checklist

$275.00  (incl. GST) Water Sensitive SA investment partners (incl. Stormwater SA members)
$440.00  (incl. GST) Others



Mellissa Bradley, Program Manager, Water Sensitive SA

MellissaBradley_croppedMellissa is a civil engineer with more than 20 years experience working within the fields of civil design, development assessment, policy development, environmental management and construction management. She has worked in development assessment in inner Sydney in the mid to late ’90s at a time when inner western Sydney was facing a massive transformation of low density to high rise housing.  In recent years, Mellissa has worked with Local Government and the SA Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board to develop and implement integrated water management plans within peri-urban growth areas of the eastern Mount Lofty Ranges.

Her experience in engineering and planning, together with a history of developing and implementing capacity building programs for local government in catchment and urban water management, has brought Mellissa to her current role as Program Manager with Water Sensitive SA.

Dr Sheryn Pitman, Program Manager, Inspiring Australia South Australia, SA Museum

Sheryn-PitmanSheryn has worked in the environmental industry for many years and is passionate about the importance of the relationship between people and the natural world. She currently manages the Inspiring South Australia program, a national strategy to strengthen our society’s engagement with the sciences and improve scientific literacy, hosted at the South Australian Museum. Prior to this Sheryn managed the South Australian Green Infrastructure partnership project to improve policy, capacity and resources for greening our towns and cities. With a multidisciplinary background in environment, arts, education and media, she has also worked as a creative and technical writer including documentary film, television and radio. In 2014, Sheryn completed her PhD in Environmental Management with a focus on Ecological Literacy.

Andrew King, Coordinator Engineering Services, City of West Torrens

Andrew King - Head ShotAndrew is Civil Engineer with experience in all levels of Government and private practice, currently employed as a senior engineer with the City of West Torrens. He considers himself lucky to have been mentored and influenced by some of South Australia’s most respected and passionate water professional and academics.

As long standing Chair of Stormwater SA and a member of many of the stormwater reference committees, working groups and networks established over the past decade, Andrew is consistently pushing for better practices, capacity building, guidelines and legislation in relation to stormwater management, Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and related fields.

Andrew has been involved in the development of a cultural change within the City of West Torrens, to the point where this council is thought to be the most progressive inner urban council in South Australia with regards to the adoption WSUD measures.  The change of daily practices in the management of the cities infrastructure has seen the city now heading towards the installation of 200 individual ‘Rain Gardens’ and the adoption of best practice WSUD into a substantial number of private developments through influence in the development process.

Graeme Hopkins, Registered Landscape Architect & Registered Architect

Graeme HopkinsGraeme Hopkins is a Registered Landscape Architect and Registered Architect. He is a Research Fellow at the University of South Australia for the CRC for Low Carbon Living – Micro Climates: Comparative study of major contributions to UHI effect in three Australian Cities (Sydney Melbourne Adelaide). He is principal of Fifth Creek Studio (FCS), and since the 1980s he has developed expertise in WSUD design and implementation, and the use of landscape strategies and natural systems within urban environments to provide climate change adaptation, with a particular focus on micro climate modification through the use of living architecture technologies such as green roofs and walls. He received a Churchill Fellowship in 2005 to study green roofs and walls overseas.

Graeme has run courses at several universities and has conducted numerous talks and workshops to the professions, nationally and internationally. Since 2013 Graeme has presented a summer school course at the University of New South Wales’ Faculty of Built Environment, entitled Living Architecture: Green roofs and green walls. This is a hybrid online course that encompasses students from the various disciplines with the faculty and is run over an intensive 2 weeks each January.

He is currently serving as an independent member on the Adelaide City Council and the Adelaide Hills Council Development Assessment Panels.

Steven Porch, Project Manager Delivery, Bowden Urban Village, Renewal SA

Steven has more than 13 years of design, construction and project management experience in the delivery of infrastructure, land development, and streetscape projects in both private and public sector settings. With a background in civil engineering he currently manages the delivery program at the South Australian government’s flagship Bowden project. The Bowden Development is delivering South Australia’s first shared streets whilst fulfilling the Government’s objectives of high quality inner city development, density and urban renewal.

Joanna Rex, Policy Officer Water Permits, Natural Resources, Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges

Joanna Rex - 2With qualifications in Environmental Science and Environmental Management, Planning and Policy Joanna is an experienced Policy Officer within the Water Management Services branch for Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges. Her interest in natural watercourses and environmental policy have contributed to her working in a field which finds a balance between the preservation of natural watercourses, policies and legislation and increased urban growth within the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region.


Robin Allison, Director, DesignFlow

Robin AllisonRobin is a founding Director of DesignFlow, a specialist water sensitive urban design consultancy based in in SA, Victoria and Queensland.

He has more than 20 years’ experience in stormwater management and in particular integrating WSUD into urban spaces to protect aquatic ecosystems while enhancing people’s enjoyment and appreciation of water.

He has delivered projects from streetscape scale to regional wetlands and a focus is often on retrofitting systems within constraints of existing urban areas.  All of the systems employed use vegetation as a key driver of water quality improvement and promote green infrastructure.


BioSA Conference Centre
40-46 West Thebarton Road
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Registration: 8:30am

31 May - 9:00am
31 May - 4:00pm
BioSA Conference Centre
40-46 West Thebarton Road

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.