Here’s a rundown on the status of our Integrated Research Projects (IRPs) and Tools and Products (TAP) program as we head into 2018.
Water sensitive city visions and transition strategies (IRP1)
Status: commenced 1 October 2016, due for completion 30 June 2018
IRP1 aims to deliver methods and tools for guiding cities and towns towards their envisioned water sensitive future. It is running workshops to develop water sensitive city transition strategies for five case study regions across Australia: Greater Perth, Bendigo, Townsville, Sydney, and Adelaide.
What’s been achieved
- Workshop series completed for Adelaide, Sydney and Townsville
- Community and industry workshops underway for Bendigo (with plenty of interest and enthusiasm from participants!)
- Vision and transition strategies finalised and released for Adelaide, and in almost-final draft stage for Perth, Sydney and Townsville
- Great progression on Perth’s implementation planning — the local Water Sensitive Transition Network has real momentum and recently established four subcommittees to advance priority areas
- Use of IRP1 methods and tools to inform the City of Gold Coast’s Water Strategy (draft to be released for public consultation in the coming months)
- Launch of Adelaide’s vision and transition strategy, with project participants and other stakeholders from across water, environment, planning and development sectors. The event included a presentation of key insights from the case study, and a panel discussion of how Adelaide can implement its strategy.
- Continuing community engagement in Bendigo, including two more workshops with local community champions, focus groups with community representatives, and a dedicated one-day focus group with the local Aboriginal people, the Dja Dja Wurrung
- Also in Bendigo, three more workshops to explore transition priorities, strategies, actions, and implementation pathways
- Reflection on what’s been learned (re transitions in the water sector, and how to enhance the methods and tools applied) from the cities involved with IRP1
Comprehensive economic evaluation framework (IRP2)
Status: commenced 1 January 2017, due for completion 30 December 2020
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.
What’s been achieved
- Completion of our Stakeholder Engagement Strategy, and rollout of several engagement activities
- Design and review of our benefit cost analysis (BCA) tool for investing in water sensitive systems and practices
- Development of a non-market values (NMV) database on water sensitive systems and practices in an urban environment
- Completion of modelling methods, study site locations, and landscape scenarios for researching the urban heat island (UHI) mitigation produced from different scales of investment in urban greening
- Scoping workshops for three case studies—Greening the Pipeline (Melbourne), the Subiaco Wastewater Precinct (Perth), and a Residential Development with WSUD (Perth)—with planning underway for testing in these case studies
- Use of events, publications, milestone reports, and industry notes (available on the IRP2 website) to support and communicate the research
- Review of the BCA tool (and testing of the tool on case studies)
- Release of the NMV database for review by CRCWSC participants (early this year)—we’ll continue to update the database and test it on case studies
- Training sessions and seminars on how to better understand the theory and how to use the BCA tool and the NMV database (for rollout later this year and early 2019)
- Possible further case studies around urban renewal projects in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland
- Release of a tool and report on the urban heat island mitigation findings (early next year)
Evidence based integrated urban planning across different scales (IRP3)
Status: in scoping phase, due to commence mid-2018
IRP3 aims to guide cities and towns in applying integrated urban and water planning to embed water sensitive outcomes. This project will ultimately deliver a framework for integrated urban and water planning (as well as supporting processes, software and guidelines). The outputs will be refined and implemented in selected regions/case studies via a diversity of scale, biophysical and governance contexts, and cross-sector professional perspectives.
Phase 1 of the project aims to develop a prototype framework for integrated urban and water planning, and a detailed project proposal for further developing and refining the framework and supporting processes, software and guidelines.
What’s been achieved
- Assembly of the project team for Phase 1
- Establishment of the Project Steering Committee (which first met on 14 December)
- Commencement of analysis of urban and water planning methods and approaches relevant to shaping water sensitive cities and embedding water sensitive outcomes, including a review of CRCWSC Tranche 1 research outputs, and a review of international literature and key case studies
- Completion of analytical work to inform the development of the prototype framework
- Stakeholder workshops to refine the prototype framework
- Delivery of (a) the prototype framework, (b) case study selection criteria for phase 2, and (c) a full project proposal by end of June 2018
Water sensitive outcomes for infill developments (IRP4)
Status: commenced October 2017, due for completion 30 June 2018
IRP4 aims to create a performance framework to understand infill impacts, develop design options (typologies), knowledge and processes to improve infill, and use these to identify improved governance arrangements and options. The project is a collaboration between University of Queensland, Monash University, University of Western Australia, and stakeholders (from the water industry and local government), represented through the active Project Steering Committee.
What’s been achieved
- Commencement of a beta version of a water mass balance analysis screening tool— we want to enable performance assessment of water sensitive interventions in dense urban environments and infill focused on the entire water cycle.
- Case study development—we are assessing the needs and expectations of the stakeholders in three Australian cities (Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide) where the case studies are likely to be located.
- Several templates (that characterise the case study areas) populated with stakeholders
- A template for design typologies, and the start of a review of infill policies and guidelines
- Field trip inspection of Norman Creek site (Brisbane), to get a better idea of the current state, the business as usual for infill development in the region, and local stakeholders’ expectations of the site’s future
- Field trips with project stakeholders (planned for 6–8 March) to sites in Adelaide (Salisbury) and Perth (Knutsford) to discuss challenges related to water and infill development at those sites. The field trip team will include researchers from different fields (architects, engineers), local stakeholders (Project Steering Committee members) interested in the development site, and industry partners from elsewhere who face similar challenges in greyfield and brownfield development.
- Release of a beta version mass balance screening tool for limited use and feedback from June 2018
Beata Sochacka (firstname.lastname@example.org) is happy to answer your questions.
Knowledge based water sensitive city solutions for groundwater impacted developments (IRP5)
Status: scoping phase commenced mid 2017, and stage 2 commenced early 2018
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.
This project is being delivered in two stages. Stage 1 has aimed to:
- collate and critically evaluate local and global knowledge around urban development and water management approaches in areas with high and variable groundwater tables
- identify contested or unknown design and implementation parameters and methods that could be investigated
- investigate alternative building/construction and land development methods and their performance in high groundwater environments
- develop an action learning plan (to inform water sensitive development at the Brabham case study site).
Stage 2 (action learning) commenced in January 2018.
What’s been achieved
- Comprehensive literature review of academic and grey literature
- Interviews 80% complete
- Stage 1 draft report on current issues related to high groundwater
- Stakeholder workshop to be held late February 2018
- Ideas for Brabham workshop to be held early April 2018
- Expert Panel to be established early 2018
- Guidelines or other policy documents to be developed by relevant agencies
- Action learning / research plan for the Brabham case study to be developed that will trial alternative methods of construction and land development
Tools and Products (TAP)
Status: commenced 1 July 2017, due for completion 30 June 2020
The TAP program aims to turn the CRCWSC's new knowledge into practical, software based tools that will support the mainstreaming of water sensitive technologies and practices.
What’s been achieved
- TAP adoption workshops in November 2017 (Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Adelaide), which focused on the use of a microclimate assessment model
- Application of a design platform to a Melbourne based case study, which helped us improve the software’s user interface and modelling capabilities
- Creation of a webpage (on the CRCWSC site) for the TAP program
- A new beta version of a scenario platform, using an updated microclimate assessment model that can produce a time series of land surface temperatures
- New case studies that will help us refine the design platform and build industry capacity to use the software
Stefan Kitanovic (Stefan.Kitanovic@monash.edu) is happy to answer your questions.