It's the start of a new financial year, so now is a great time to update you on the status of our Integrated Research Projects (IRPs) and Tools and Products (TAP) program.

Water sensitive city visions and transition strategies (IRP1)

Status: commenced 1 October 2016, completed December 2018

IRP1 delivered methods and tools for guiding cities and towns towards their envisioned water sensitive future. It ran workshops to develop water sensitive city transition strategies for five case study regions across Australia: Greater Perth, Bendigo, Townsville, Sydney, and Adelaide.

Even though the research is complete, IRP1 continues to add value

    • Project activities are complete and our focus is now on finalising the last three milestone reports (Cross-city comparisons, Process methodology, Community engagement) and dissemination outputs.
    • The Perth Implementation Plan is being finalised by the Water Sensitive Transition Network and is due for publication later this year.
    • On 1 March 2019, stakeholders in Bendigo signed a Memorandum of Understanding for working together to deliver Bendigo’s WSC transition strategy. The key organisations involved are City of Greater Bendigo, Coliban Water, NCCMA, DELWP, and Dja Dja Wurrung. The supporting organisations include the CRCWSC, Department of Health and Human Services, and Goulburn-Murray Water.
    • We showcased several IRP1 outputs our 4th Water Sensitive Cities Conference in Brisbane in March:
      • Briony Rogers and Katie Hammer presented on the Transitions Platform concept
      • Shelley Shepherd (Urbaqua) presented on the WSC Index
      • Sergey Volotovsky (WA Water Corporation) presented on Perth’s transition journey
      • Jo Lindsay (Monash University) covered insights on engaging the community in WSC transitions
      • Liam Sibly (City of Greater Bendigo) spoke about the Bendigo community process and next steps.

Katie Hammer ( is happy to answer your questions.

Comprehensive economic evaluation framework (IRP2)

Status: commenced 1 January 2017, due for completion 30 June 2021

IRP2 is developing an economic evaluation framework to identify and quantify economic, environmental and community values of investments in water sensitive practices and systems. The ultimate output would be an evaluation framework that private and public sector users can apply to business case development and decision making to achieve water sensitive, liveable and resilient cities.

Recent progress

    • Our case study on residential development with water sensitive urban design (Bellevue case study) is complete and its final report will be available soon. The other four case studies in this work package are significantly advanced.
    • We’ve showcased our IRP2 outputs at two major industry events: the 4th CRWSC conference in Brisbane, and the 2019 Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES) in Melbourne, where IRP2 researchers won several awards including the 2019 Quality of Research Communication Award.
    • The beta version of the Value Tool and Guidelines are now available to Participant organisations, and we’re continuing to update the database with recent studies. The tool now contains more than 700 values (records), up from 336 records in the beta version. We delivered training in the tool at our Brisbane conference, and look out for more training opportunities in your city soon. You can download the Industry Note to learn more about this tool.
    • We completed a national training tour on our Benefit Cost Analysis tool and continue to assist users from Participant organisations in conducting BCAs using this tool.
    • We’re engaging with industry around financial models and policies, and we have two publications nearing completion for our urban heat mitigation project.

Tamara Harold ( is happy to answer your questions.

Guiding integrated urban and water planning (IRP3)

Status: commenced July 2018, due for completion 2020

IRP3 aims to explore how urban development can be deliberately guided to achieve water sensitive outcomes. This project will ultimately deliver a framework to guide end-users set up and implement integrated urban and water planning processes. The framework will be developed through an action research approach: a selection of case studies across Australia will be used to test the framework in different biophysical and governance contexts.

Recent progress

    • Chris Chesterfield introduced our IRP3 project at OzWater’19 and discussed the preliminary conceptual framework for integrated planning and early insights from research to date.
    • Our Brabham case study is well underway. We've completed the context analysis and the first workshop in April and have a second workshop scheduled this month.
    • Our Townsville case study is confirmed, and we expect it to start later this year.
    • Work continues on our framework development, particularly for phase 1 (collaborative governance). We’ve conducted more interviews with leading practitioners, to explore current governance arrangements and levels of collaboration between the urban and water sectors. Analysis revealed a range of key drivers, barriers and enablers to collaboration. We’ve started articulating the range of outcomes that could be achieved through different levels of collaboration.

Sylvia Tawfik ( is happy to answer your questions.

Water sensitive outcomes for infill developments (IRP4)

Status: commenced October 2017, due for completion 30 September 2020

IRP4 aims to to influence more water sensitive infill development in our cities. It will generate evidence-based guidance on housing design alternatives that can mitigate the adverse impacts of poorly planned infill development. The project will create a performance evaluation framework to understand the water-related impacts of infill development, develop example design typologies that can reduce impacts, and generate knowledge that can inform better infill planning and governance.

Recent progress

    • We’ve released two draft documents on outcomes to date (Typology Catalogue and Infill Evaluation Framework discussion document), which are available on our web page for Participants.
    • Marguerite Renouf presented a paper and presentation at OzWater’19 in Melbourne, reporting preliminary results for a site-scale analysis of the water performance of alternative infill dwelling designs.
    • Our research case study with Salisbury City Council in Adelaide is progressing well, with a water sensitive infill design plan customised for an example development site in Salisbury. We’ve held multiple workshops with our case study partners in Adelaide to consult on this work.
    • We supported the Winter School Urban Design Challenge on water–energy systems integration, spanning architecture, engineering, planning, at The University of Queensland from 24–28 June.

Marguerite Renouf ( is happy to answer your questions.

Knowledge based water sensitive city solutions for groundwater impacted developments (IRP5)

Status: This project is still in the scoping phase. Watch this space for more information.

IRP5 aims to better understand the impact of urban development in groundwater impacted environments, and to generate water sensitive solutions for such regions with high groundwater tables.

Tools and Products (TAP)

Status: commenced 1 July 2017, due for completion 30 June 2020

The TAP program aims to enable industry adoption and use of key intellectual property outputs from the CRCWSC research program. In other words, we want to support the mainstreaming of water sensitive technologies and practices.

Building on our Tranche 1 work, the TAP program maintains, refines and harmonises our tool portfolio, and integrates research and outputs from current activities. In this way, it looks to translate knowledge into software based tools.

Recent progress

    • We launched a diagnostic and action development feature to the WSC Index, which tests the impact of high-level management actions and strategies on WSC Index scores.
    • Water Corporation WA partnered with the TAP team to train 32 people from LGAs, utilities, and SME associates in Western Australia, on the WSC Index.
    • We also assembled a technical reference group for the Transition Dynamics Framework, and we are working on moving the product into the beta stage.
    • We made the first official release of the Scenario Tool (previously called the Design Platform), which comprised a closed beta version and support and training for testers.
    • We officially launched the Scenario Tool at our 4th Water Sensitive Cities Conference in Brisbane in March and conducted a training workshop for around 60 registrants. This training involved the modelling of the Salisbury redevelopment area being used by our IRP4 team. Christian Urich presented on the Scenario Tool, and Sara Lloyd presented on the Transition Dynamics Framework, at the conference.
    • We also applied the Scenario Tool (beta version) to the most intricate case study yet for the TAP program: detailed urban microclimate modelling for the City of Marion. Our SA regional manager, Mellissa Bradley, presented the results to 700 participants at the recent Cooler, Greener Adelaide exhibition and forum. We also used outputs from the Tool at the recent Liverpool synthesis workshop, and prepared a project plan for applying the Scenario Tool to Melbourne’s northern metro region, as part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Plan Melbourne initiative.


Stefan Kitanovic ( is happy to answer your questions.

Last updated: 8th Jul 2019