Adelaide Transition Strategy (IRP1-TS2)


Adelaide has made significant advancements on the water sensitive city pathway, however there is a need to align these advancements through a water sensitive vision. Adelaide has undertaken preliminary processes to develop a benchmark of Adelaide's current water sensitive performance, a vision for Adelaide as a future water sensitive city, and high-level strategies for achieving the vision.

Three one-day workshops were held between May – July 2017 with 38 stakeholders across Adelaide’s water, planning, development, and environment sectors. Workshop discussions and analysis were also supplemented with a thorough desktop review and one-on- one interviews with each of the workshop participants. The benchmarking, visioning and transition planning results are presented at a high level below. For further detail, refer to the full project report.

Benchmarking Adelaide

Greater Adelaide’s water sensitive performance was benchmarked against the seven goals and 34 indicators of the Water Sensitive Cities Index. The benchmarking process highlighted Adelaide’s strengths as leaders in adaptive water infrastructure via extensive stormwater harvesting and re-use and recycled wastewater. The process also highlighted the need for greater efforts in the goals of ensure quality urban space, improve ecological health, ensure good governance, and increase community capital.

Adelaide’s performance (blue area) compared to the water sensitive goals and the idealised Water Cycle City benchmark (dashed green line)

Summary of Adelaide's performance against the ideal measures for each city state

Adelaide’s Water Sensitive City Vision

Workshop participants then created a shared vision for Adelaide as a water sensitive city in 50 years. The figure below outlines the six themes that are detailed in the vision.


The first of three workshops in Adelaide was held on Monday 8 May, 2017 and focused on benchmarking Adelaide's water sensitive performance using the Water Sensitive Cities Index. 34 stakeholders across Adelaide's water, planning, and development sectors attended the workshop and scored each of the goals and indicators.

Workshop 2 was held on Monday 29th May 2017 and focused on developing a vision and narrative for Adelaide as a future water sensitive city. Discussions explored the current trends and drivers that provide the rationale for Adelaide's   water sensitive transition, along with what outcomes Adelaide will need  to  ensure  to remain a liveable, sustainable, resilient, and productive city in the future.

Workshop 3 was held on Monday 3 July 2017 and focused on validating and refining the vision. It also explored Adelaide's current transition status in regards to the 7 WSC Index goals. The research team presented recommendations in the form of priority objectives that were reviewed and validated by workshop participants.

VOX POP SERIES –  How can Adelaide become a Water Sensitive City

Last updated: 20th Mar 2018