The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) and Melbourne Water were in Suva in April 2018, to deliver training on Integrated Water Management (IWM) approaches. The training was part of the Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) project, which uses water sensitive principles and practice to upgrade informal settlements in developing countries.

Charlotte Beresford (Melbourne Water Program Coordinator) explained that an IWM approach can offer strategic outcomes at neighbourhood, precinct and city scales that can provide a wide range of benefits to the community. She also noted the importance of collaborating to integrate water sensitive urban design with existing infrastructure.

Together, the CRCWSC and Melbourne Water delivered IWM training to RISE team members, local partners and government organisations.

Kerrie Burge (the CRCWSC’s International Engagement Manager for the Asia Pacific region) emphasised the training was “designed to build the capacity of our local partners to apply these water sensitive approaches more generally. Our aim is for water sensitive practices to be applied across the whole of Suva.”

“With this training, we’re building on the lessons we learned in Melbourne and other cities, about how a water sensitive cities approach can complement traditional water supply networks to improve a city’s sustainability and resilience,” said Ms Burge.

The feedback from participants was very positive:

“It is very positive to see innovative solutions to help overcome some of the water management problems facing Fiji and the Pacific,” said Josaia Koroilavesau, Water Authority of Fiji Engineer.

“The training was an ideal combination of theory and practice, generating significant momentum across the RISE Suva team and our partners,” said Mr Vakarewa, RISE Fiji Coordinator.

MORE ABOUT RISE

The CRCWSC is excited to be a partner in the RISE program, to demonstrate that a localised, water sensitive cities approach can deliver sustainable, cost-effective health and environmental improvements. Working in 24 informal settlements (12 in Suva, Fiji and 12 in Makassar, Indonesia) plus one demonstration site in each city, RISE is trialing nature-based solutions—such as constructed wetlands and bio-filtration gardens—to reduce pollution in the environment, and gather empirical evidence on the resulting human health benefits.