Water Sensitive SA

Cooler, greener Adelaide | join the campaign

What can you do?

  • Elevate this as a relevant conversation in the public domain, advocate with our elected members (Council) and state government agencies that this is important – that’s how you get policy change | Planning reforms
  • We are all consumers – we need to expect more when we are planning our home or investment property
  • Plant a tree
  • Look at your own garden space, work out how you can make it cooler – the cost of veggies that you grow yourself is half the water cost of purchased vegetables

Partners and supporters of Water Sensitive SA share a vision of places for people that boast quality green spaces, naturally protect and enhance the health of our watercourses and marine environments, and minimise flood risk.

We want you to join our campaign to bring urban greening and water sensitive urban design into the mainstream. What is water sensitive urban design? (YouTube video – UK)

By supporting the Cooler, greener Adelaide campaign you will join many Councils, industry associations and individuals who want to see green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design performance requirements brought into South Australia’s planning system and the South Australian edition of the Building Code of Australia.

By doing this we give the Policy the best chance of achieving its key goals which are to:

  • increase urban green cover and canopy cover
  • maximise fit-for-purpose use of alternative water (recycled wastewater/stormwater, rainwater), to conserve our water resources
  • provide balance to the urban water cycle encouraging infiltration of stormwater to maintain soil moisture, replenish groundwater and ultimately local creek base flows, minimising watercourse erosion
  • provide stormwater treatment prior to discharge to urban waterways and the marine environment to protect our natural environments
  • reduce local flood risk.

How will this reshape our places?

The benefits of adopting green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design policy into planning systems and codes would accrue to homeowners, neighbourhoods and entire communities

Allotment scale
  • Communities can avoid the need for future water restrictions on potable water supplies as they will have access to alternative sources for outdoor use:
    • gardens
    • car washdown.
  • Rainwater will be captured and re-used on site indoors:
    • toilet
    • laundry
    • hot water services.
  • Rainwater tank overflow will be diverted into an infiltration or detention unit.
  • Driveways use permeable or porous pavements and runoff will be diverted to infiltration zones or vegetated bioretention swales.
  • Water efficient landscaping becomes expected and – eventually – standard.
  • Paved areas use porous pavers that help water infiltrate to replenish groundwater sources.
  • Provide “deep soil” areas as part of new developments to provide suitable conditions for the establishment of mature trees.
  • Require minimum standards for landscape plans for new developments.
Streetscape scale
  • Streets have wider verges or medians to
    • enable establishment of mature trees that reach their canopy potential
    • for stormwater treatment, infiltration and storage.
  • Streets have healthy vegetation supported by sustainable water management tat provide shaded refuges.  These will be achieved through the application of:
    • onsite infiltration measures including swales and buffer strips
    • re-use of treated stormwater and recycled wastewater
    • porous pavements
    • bioretention systems such as sand filters,  basins or raingardens
  • Gross pollutant traps (GPTs), litter baskets within the stormwater pipe network.

How can I support the campaign?

There are many ways you can help make a cooler, greener South Australia a reality.

Advocacy – Planning Policy
  • Get behind our direct advocacy for the green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design policy adoption within the planning and design code, and building code by pledging your support for the proposal. With public support from people like you, our message gains even more legitimacy and urgency
  • Support our indirect advocacy activities by working within your own networks to raise awareness of the benefits of greener communities sustained by water sensitive urban design principles and practices. The importance of a groundswell of support can not be understated.  We would encourage you to use some  of the key messages and targeted stakeholder messages within the Water Sensitive SA Stakeholder Engagement Plan  and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss ways you can help.

To learn more about what others are doing in this space click here to find links to some of our top picks for leading water sensitive urban design strategies, policies, plans and projects.

Have you got a project or case study in excellence in water sensitive urban design that you would like to share? You can provide details to us via our case study register.