Case studies

The CRCWSC has developed case studies to help build a body of evidence that can support and encourage the adoption of research outcomes.

These detailed case studies capture and communicate the lessons learned from the early adoption of research knowledge in real-life projects. These have been developed in collaboration with project stakeholders to identify the key drivers and innovations which led to the discovery of water sensitive cities outcomes, and to highlight the challenges faced during the process.

Discover a Water Sensitive City

Hover over the graphic below to discover case studies on features in a Water Sensitive City.

Map of a City Diorama
Key for Solution Pins Key for Benefits Pins Key for Enabling Structures Pins

+ key-benefits|Alternative water supplies||

+ key-solutions|Wastewater management and recycling||

+ key-benefits|Water literacy and behaviour change||

+ key-solutions|Stormwater treatment||

+ key-solutions|Rainwater and stormwater harvesting||

+ key-solutions|Water sensitive parks and open spaces||

+ key-solutions|Managed aquifer recharge||

+ key-benefits|Ecosystem health||

+ key-benefits|Flood resilience||

+ key-solutions|Waterway naturalisation||

+ key-solutions|Water sensitive precincts||

+ key-solutions|Water sensitive streets and carparks||

+ key-solutions|Water sensitive homes and buildings||

+ key-solutions|Green roofs and green walls||

+ key-benefits|Amenity and urban greening||

+ key-benefits|Urban heat island mitigation||

+ key-enabling-structure|Community engagement||

+ key-enabling-structure|Governance and policy||

+ key-enabling-structure|Leadership and influence||

All case studies by project

South Bank Parklands Rain Bank


A public parklands in the heart of Brisbane has implemented an alternative water supply scheme for irrigation and toilet flushing by utilising harvested stormwater and filtered backwash from pools and water features.

Small Creek naturalisation


Transformation of 1.6km of existing concrete channel in a heavily urbanised catchment into a natural waterway. The project proactively engaged the local community to create a treasured environment.

Josh’s House

Western Australia

Josh Byrne led by example by building his own home using environmental principles and proving that sustainability can be affordable. Josh's house includes a range of water sensitive urban design and water efficiency measures.

Angus Creek stormwater harvesting and reuse scheme

New South Wales

The Angus Creek stormwater harvesting and reuse scheme (the scheme) extracts flows from Angus Creek and harvests stormwater runoff from hard surfaces to irrigate the the Blacktown International Sportspark and neighbouring reserves, supplying up to 200ML of fit-for-purpose water each year.

Dobsons Creek disconnection project


In 2010, Melbourne Water and Knox City Council initiated a pilot program to retrofit the 1300 hectare Dobsons Creek catchment with stormwater disconnection measures on public and private land with the aim of improving the health of Dobsons Creek.

Enhancing our Dandenong Creek program


A collaborative approach with the local community resulted in a series of works to the urban waterway, including daylighting of a piped section of the creek.

Park Orchards community sewerage trial


In the Park Orchards and Ringwood North Community Sewerage Area, a trial area of 100 properties in the Park Orchards area has been selected to test and understand the potential to maximise the use of on-property treatment and local reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation.

Warrnambool roof water harvesting project


A landmark scheme which collects water directly from rooftops across a new development and transfers it to a local raw water reservoir where it is treated and utilised as part of the town's potable water supply.

Bannister Creek living stream

Western Australia

Naturalisation of a local creek produced demonstrated ecological and amenity benefits that led to an increase nearby property prices.

Kalamunda managed aquifer recharge

Western Australia

The Hartfield Park Managed Aquifer Recharge project in the Shire of Kalumunda involves the recharge of an aquifer under controlled conditions in order to store water for
later abstraction for irrigation use.

Kalkallo stormwater harvesting and reuse


The Kalkallo Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Scheme is the first facility in Australia attempting to harvest and treat stormwater to a standard acceptable for direct injection into the drinking water system.

Waterproofing the West

South Australia

A region wide system that harvests, treats and stores stormwater and distributes recycled water through western Adelaide, sustaining a growing economy and enhancing the natural environment. The project will result in sound water management and will treat and inject up to 2,400ML of recycled water each year.

Sydney Water bank naturalisation

New South Wales

Naturalisation of 1.1km of riverbank along the Cooks River in Sydney involved demolition and replacement of steep, deteriorated concrete panels with more gently sloped river banks, stabilised with sandstone and more than 80,000 local native plants.

Randolph Avenue streetscape upgrade

South Australia

Inclusion of raingardens in a road environment in Adelaide to improve amenity and improve urban stormwater quality.

Adelaide Airport irrigation trial

South Australia

A trial of irrigation of large areas of vegetation at Adelaide airport demonstrated significant reductions in local temperatures.

Greening the pipeline


Greening the pipeline is a project that aims to celebrate and utilise the now disused Melbourne Outfall Sewer corridor which runs through western Melbourne. Gradual greening of the corridor and creation of pocket parks at crossing points is connecting communities and enhancing recreation.

Currumbin Ecovillage rainwater harvesting


The Currumbin Ecovillage is a 147 lot development in the Gold Coast Hinterland with sustainability at its heart. It demonstrates off-grid living and includes large rainwater tanks on each lot to provide drinking water.

Currumbin Ecovillage Wastewater Management


The Currumbin Ecovillage is a 147 lot development in the Gold Coast Hinterland with sustainability at its heart. Wastewater is treated on-site and provided back to the houses for non-potable uses.

Gladstone East Shores Precinct


The Gladstone East Shores Precinct is a major new recreational hub for the City of Gladstone located on the foreshore of Auckland Inlet. The integrated parkland design features an innovative application of ‘wicking bed’ technology to store locally harvested stormwater runoff for passive irrigation of a high use open lawn area.

Kings Square raingardens

Western Australia

As part of the Kings Square development’s approach to sustainability, a network of raingardens were incorporated into the streetscape design to provide stormwater treatment, protect sensitive groundwater systems that flow into the nearby Swan River, improve the long term health of street trees, and enhance amenity.

Waterwise Council Program

Western Australia

The Waterwise Council Program is a collaborative program between the water utility, state government and councils in Western Australia, providing education, training, materials, and funding opportunities to improve water efficiency and build water sensitive communities.

A new community at Officer


Collaborative planning and design delivered habitat-rich 100m wide waterway corridors which included 'eco-sponges' which hold and infiltrate stormwater runoff to minimise impacts on the waterway.

Orange - stormwater to potable

New South Wales

First of its kind in Australia, City of Orange implemented a stormwater harvesting scheme to supplement their town potable water supply.



A Melbourne development planned in collaboration between a water utility and a developer, which includes smart technology to provide rainwater for hot water supply, recycled water supply and real-time monitoring of water use, forthcoming storms and tank levels.

White Gum Valley

Western Australia

An infill development in Freemantle that demonstrates a water sensitive approach at all scales, with smart monitoring of on-lot systems, communal groundwater network for garden irrigation and an infiltration basin transformed into a public park.

Salisbury alternative water scheme

South Australia

Non-drinking water in the City of Salisbury is called ‘Salisbury Water’ and is a mix of treated stormwater and native groundwater which is used to irrigate parks, reserves, schools as well as used in industry and for toilet/garden use in some new residential developments. Collection, storage and distribution of the water uses constructed wetlands, Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and over 150km of ‘purple pipe’ distribution network across the City.

Water sensitive Elwood


The low-lying suburb of Elwood in inner Melbourne has had ongoing flooding issues for a long time. A proactive engagement was delivered to partner with communities and develop a shared understanding of the challenges and co-design possible solutions.

Elizabeth Street catchment IWCM


A natural depression, Elizabeth Street in Central Melbourne is prone to flooding, having an impact on local economies and communities. The Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) Plan for the catchment seeks to integrate the inclusion of stormwater harvesting and storage at the top of the catchment to reduce flood risk.

Moonee Valley planning scheme


Demonstration of leadership in policy at a local government level, through the ground-breaking integration of local requirements for stormwater management in developments.

Forest Park ecological wetland


Transformation of a parklands area to a multi-functional landscape in Kunshan, China. The parklands include ecological wetlands that provide water quality treatment for the adjoining canal network, and provides storage of flood water when needed.

Sponge City Innovation Park


Collaboration between experts from Australia and China has led to the delivery of Innovation Park in Kunshan, China. The area demonstrates how water sensitive solutions can be delivered at all scales.

Central Park recycled water scheme

New South Wales

This is the world’s biggest recycled water facility in the basement of a residential building, which collects wastewater along with stormwater runoff and rainwater to supply non-potable water demands in the precinct.

One Central Park green walls

New South Wales

Large green walls integrated into building design and irrigated with recycled water.

Dubbo urban heat island amelioration project

New South Wales

Increasing urban canopy cover in an area of high heat exposure with a vulnerable population to mitigate heat, treat stormwater, improve local amenity and adapt to climate change.

Kunshan Ring Road


Kunshan is a polder city (a piece of land in a low-lying area that has been reclaimed from a body of water by building dikes and drainage canals) with many canals and waterways which can have poor water quality in some areas.

City of Gold Coast water sensitive city transition strategy


The purpose of the project was to provide a framework for orienting and coordinating strategic action across the many different stakeholders who will need to collaborate for the Gold Coast’s envisioned water future to be achieved.

Moonee Valley water sensitive cities benchmarking


During a one-day workshop, Council and external stakeholders worked together through a facilitated threestep process to agree on the local government area’s current status in meeting the seven goals of a water sensitive city.

Resource recovery from wastewater


The resource recovery from wastewater project developed a new way of recovering energy, water and valuable nutrients (phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium) from wastewater (treated sewage).

Collaborative planning for the Fishermans Bend Urban Redevelopment


This scale and profile presented a unique opportunity in building water sensitive cities, as the economies of scale help to support novel infrastructure approaches and ‘best in class’ approaches to water servicing and urban development.

Glenelg to Adelaide pipeline (GAP)

South Australia

The Glenelg to Adelaide pipeline delivers a reliable climate independent water supply to irrigate open space in western and central Adelaide.

Wanyarram Dhelk—Bendigo Creek restoration


Wanyarram Dhelk—which means Good Waterhole in Djaara language—aims to improve the water health of the Bendigo Creek and its tributaries.

Green walls, roofs and facades in the City of Melbourne


The project aims to create 10 hectares of green infrastructure by 2021, to support a prosperous, healthy, cool and liveable city.

Marrickville West Primary School eco water garden

New South Wales

This project involved diverting water from a council drain into the grounds of Marrickville West Primary School, filtering it and then harvesting it to create a green space for the school and the local community.

Victorian Planning Provisions Amendment


On 26 October 2018, Amendment VC154 changed the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and all planning schemes, to introduce new stormwater management provisions for urban development and amend State planning policies related to integrated water management (IWM).

Water sensitive urban design voluntary contribution scheme for Moonee Valley City Council


Moonee Valley City Council launched a water sensitive urban design (WSUD) voluntary contribution scheme (VCS) for planning applicants to help them meet their development’s on-site stormwater quality obligations from 1 July 2019.

Queensland Children’s Hospital therapeutic landscapes


The multi-award-winning Queensland Children’s Hospital is Australia’s largest paediatric hospital and the largest capital investment in children’s health in Queensland’s history.

Planning for water sensitive infill development: case study of Salisbury East precinct

South Australia

This project examined whether the South Australian planning system can support water sensitive infill housing typologies.

Measuring the performance of water sensitive infill development at Knutsford

Western Australia

This project demonstrated how to use CRCWSC tools to develop and assess water sensitive solutions for infill development in Fremantle.

Brisbane infill integrated water management system


This project demonstrated how to use CRCWSC tools to develop and assess water sensitive solutions for infill development in Brisbane.

Value proposition for water sensitive development in Townsville


This project demonstrated how to use CRCWSC tools to develop and assess water sensitive solutions in Townsville.

45 Shand Road, Reservoir


The 45 Shand Road affordable housing development (Shand) takes an innovative approach to water sensitive urban design (WSUD) as a part of a broader approach to long-term sustainability.

Last updated: 30th Aug 2022