Water sensitive cities (WSC) tools have helped many cities and towns, both nationally and internationally, to develop and start their water sensitive transitions.

Current versions of these tools are available on Water Sensitive Cities Australia’s Knowledge Platform.

But, an important part of mainstreaming these tools is continuously improving them to support our Water Sensitive Cities Australia partners. Some of our very early activities focus on doing just that.

We’re improving the functionality of the WSC Index Tool and expanding its reach

The WSC Index Tool is the starting place for many water sensitive cities transitions. This benchmarking tool maps a city’s current urban water management performance against 34 indicators characterising a water sensitive city. The tool has been deployed in over 50 countries across Australia and a growing list of international cities.

One of our first mainstreaming projects is to update the back end of this web-based tool, to make it easier to manage new index projects. This workflow enhancement will ultimately improve the tool's cost effectiveness.

We are also part of two new projects to apply the Index Tool in 2 new countries:

  • India – We’re supporting Alluvium International under the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Australia Alumni Grant Scheme. This project involves applying the Index Tool in a selected Indian city, and engaging with Indian and Australian stakeholders.
  • New Zealand – We’re working with Morphum Environmental, MSDI Water and Auckland Council to benchmark Auckland. This project will also increase the number of accredited Index Tool providers in New Zealand.

We’re introducing the Management Actions Database

One of the final tools developed by the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities was the Management Actions Database and Tool, which supports the Water Sensitive Cities Index Tool and the  Transition Dynamics Framework (TDF).

Over 50 cities and towns have used one or more of these tools to develop strategies and actions to implement their water sensitive city visions. The findings have been documented in multiple reports, several of which were published by the CRCWSC (e.g. Gold Coast). Collectively, these findings provide a rich library of potential 'actions' that other cities can use to rapidly develop their own strategies.

The Management Actions Database is a repository for these actions and strategies. As part of this mainstreaming project, we are populating the Management Actions Database with data from locations such as Perth (WA), the Gold Coast (Qld), Bendigo (Vic), the Blue Mountains (NSW), Hornsby (NSW) and Cape Town (South Africa). Over time, the database will grow as information from new cities using the Index Tool and TDF is added. The database allows practitioners to search for relevant strategies and actions to develop their own transition strategy.

This expanded database will become a key input for an accreditation process for applying the TDF. So, like the Water Sensitive Cities Index Tool, accredited practitioners will be able to confidently help cities and towns convert an Index benchmarking assessment into a pathway for action. A pilot of the accreditation process is planned for later this year.

Last updated: 18th Aug 2021