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Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD)

Water conservation, water quality improvement, flood control and a healthy living environment are just some of the benefits that can be delivered by Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD). Despite these benefits, WSUD has not been widely adopted in South Australia.

The aim of this project is to find out why South Australia has not experienced mainstream uptake of WSUD, before addressing those barriers and identifying opportunities to encourage the implementation of sustainable urban design which is tailored to the state’s specific needs and conditions.

The project is evaluating the uptake and effectiveness of various WSUD approaches for water quantity, quality and flood mitigation, delivering:

  • an inventory of existing WSUD initiatives in South Australia, including a list of approaches adopted, what the current barriers and opportunities are, and where data gaps exist
  • community and stakeholder engagement, identifying social perceptions, opportunities and strategies for WSUD schemes
  • evaluation of existing WSUD systems

Information gathered from this project should improve uptake of WSUD in South Australia, while minimising impact on infrastructure and the environment and maximising long-term benefits for the community. Results area also linked with another key project Optimal Water Resources Mix for Adelaide.

For more detailed information download the Project Fact Sheet (PDF 2.0 MB)

A second project, WSUD Impediments & Opportunities, consisted of three components:

  • A post implementation assessment of developments designed with Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) systems and consultation with various stakeholders for South Australian to identify specific impediments and constraints in the uptake of WSUD.
  • A community consultation, investigating the social and technical impediments, drivers and opportunities for the uptake and management of WSUD systems.
  • Research into the potential for WSUD in South Australia to achieve water conservation through alternative resources application, water quality, water quantity and flood management. It will review the economic impacts of WSUD strategies and options.

The project team worked closely with Local Government to bring together a comprehensive understanding of WSUD interventions that have been installed throughout Adelaide and the effectiveness of these interventions. Several Technical Reports ( 13/11, 14/3, 14/16 and 14/19) have been published on the Goyder Institute website

WSUD Phase 2:  Resolving key impediments to WSUD in SA

The third project in this theme will investigate the technical knowledge needed for the development of a framework for integrating WSUD strategies into stormwater management plans.  The project will also examine the policy instruments and pathways for implementation of WSUD into stormwater management plans with a strong emphasis on uptake by local government.  This project has strong linkages with several NRM Boards and local government councils.


Photo: Claire Punter