Greater Sydney’s transition to a water sensitive future gained ground last month with a forum hosted by our partner, Splash.
The Greater Sydney Overview of Water Smart Cities Forum, held in Sydney on 24 July, gave local practitioners insight into the work being done to move towards water sensitive cities in the region.
More than 80 people from local and state government, Sydney Water and industry heard four guest speakers, including CRCWSC researcher Katie Hammer, discuss issues and opportunities around the Greater Sydney water vision.
The CRCWSC was proud to contribute to this important forum and have Katie Hammer outline the 50-year Vision and Transition Strategy for a Water Sensitive Greater Sydney, which we recently released in conjunction with Sydney Water.
Katie explained the imperative to move away from the large-scale, universal and linear system currently in place in the region towards a flexible, integrated, distributed, closed loop, context-sensitive water system, and some of the barriers to this outcome. She also outlined Greater Sydney’s current water sensitive performance; the vision and transition strategies the CRCWSC has already undertaken, including 27 workshops with industry participants; and the priority transition strategies and next steps to move ahead, including creating more networks and opportunities for collaboration.
Three other guest speakers joined Katie at the event:
- Lucinda Maunsell, Department of Planning and Environment spoke about the Water Smart Cities program, designed to drive integrated water management in Sydney’s high growth areas, and the opportunities for collaboration among industry partners on five key issues affecting Greater Sydney, including aligning land and water planning, encouraging cost effective investment, and improving industry capability.
- Lisa Currie, City of Sydney outlined the outcomes of the Water Sensitive Sydney Summit, held in February 2018, including the water challenges facing Greater Sydney, such as heat, ageing infrastructure, and regulatory and institutional barriers; Summit recommendations, including a clear urban water policy framework; and next steps. Lisa also brought the good news that stakeholders agree on the Greater Sydney water vision and are already acting on several initiatives.
- Paul Mulley, Sydney Water discussed outcomes from the recent stakeholders’ development forum, including participant ideas on how Sydney Water might improve its practices around matters such as transparency, communication, enquiry processing and data sharing.
Two breakout sessions concluded the day: one to define integrated water management for Greater Sydney, and another to identify the next steps towards a water sensitive region.
Participants said the forum gave them valuable information to kickstart conversations about the water vision within their own organisations.
We congratulate Splash on an outstanding event.