Current Water Sensitive Performance

Performance against the goals of a water sensitive city

Greater Perth was benchmarked using the Water Sensitive Cities Index in 2021, at a workshop attended by industry representatives.

The Water Sensitive Cities Index has also been used to benchmark municipalities within Greater Perth including Swan, Perth, Subiaco, Wanneroo, Mandurah, Canning, Cockburn, Manduring, Victoria Park, Vincent, Melville, Bayswater, Kwinanan, Cambridge, Belmont, Armadale, Bassendean and South Perth.

Greater Perth achieved its strongest result for the goal of Achieve equity of essential services (4.4/5.0). Areas for improvement included Improve productivity and resource efficiency (2.8/5/0), Ensure quality urban space (3.0/5.0) and Improve ecological health (3.0/5.0).

Achieving city–states

Greater Perth’s results against the 6 city–states highlights its strong performance is in providing basic services. It has equitable water supply and sanitation services that are safe, secure and affordable (100% Water Supply City and Sewered City) and the community is protected against floods (100% Drained City). Greater Perth also performs well in providing environmental sustainability services (97% Waterways City).

The most scope for improvement relates to using water to increase resilience (66% Water Cycle City) and liveability (18% Water Sensitive City).

Change strategy: how to become more water sensitive

Research relevant to Perth


The influence of statutory land use planning on water sensitive design practices

Is the urban heat island exacerbated during heatwaves in southern Australian cities?

Understanding social preferences for land use in wastewater treatment plant buffer zones

Understanding urban water performance at the city-region scale using an urban water metabolism evaluation framework

Urban water metabolism indicators derived from a water mass balance – Bridging the gap between visions and performance assessment of urban water resource management

Legal duties for environmental water provisions in Western Australia

Water in the city: Green open spaces, land use planning and flood management – an Australian case study

Advancing the adaptation of the water resource sector in highly urbanised regions across Australia

Connecting land use and water planning: Prospects for an urban water metabolism approach

Rainfall changes over Southwestern Australia and their relationship to the Southern Annular Mode and ENSO

Opportunity structures: understanding capacity for policy innovation

Transitioning to water sensitive cities: insights from six Australian cities

Becoming a water sensitive city: a comparative review of regulation in Australia

Results of a legislative stocktake for Western Australia

Water, history and the Australian city: Urbanism, suburbanism and water in a dry continent, 1788-2015

Performance assessment of the Anvil Way Compensation Basin living stream: 2004-2013

Shaping Perth as a water sensitive city: outcomes and perspectives from a participatory process to develop a vision and strategic transition framework


Ideas for Ocean Reef Marina

Ideas for the Subiaco Strategic Resource Precinct

Subiaco strategic resource precinct case study: Non-market valuation of recycled water – final report

Revitalising Canning City Centre: A water sensitive perspective

Ideas for Bentley

Water Sensitive Outcomes for Infill Development: Knutsford Case Study Final Report

Quantifying sediment export from an urban development site: Heron Park

Eric Singleton Constructed Wetland: Monitoring and assessment for optimal stormwater treatment performance

Enabling water sensitive urban development: planning and governance opportunities for Perth

Brabham Action Learning Partnership: Case report

Ideas for Brabham

White Gum Valley case study

Bannister Creek living stream case study

Josh’s House case study

Kalamunda managed aquifer recharge case study

Kings Square raingardens case study

Waterwise Council Program case study


Riparian design guidelines to inform the ecological repair of urban waterways

Vegetation guidelines for stormwater biofilters in the south-west of Western Australia

A guide for monitoring the performance of WSUD elements in areas with high groundwater

BCA Tool (INFFEWS) Webinar – insights from industry applications

Non-market valuation of recycled water: Subiaco Strategic Resource Precinct case study fact sheet

Assessment of non-market benefits of WSUD for a residential development: a case study fact sheet

Mind the gap–what we don’t know about urban areas with high groundwater fact sheet

The most cost-effective ways to maintain public open space with less water fact sheet

Cost-effective strategies to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus emissions in an urban river catchment fact sheet

Changing water habits after drought: Why garden watering was easier to change than showering fact sheet

Water and the Australian city: lessons from history fact sheet

Last updated: 9th Mar 2022