case studies

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


Voluntary contribution schemes can reduce compliance costs for developers and increase stormwater quality improvements. Local government can learn from each other, and as a result achieve better stormwater treatment outcomes from new developments and deliver broader community benefits

The drivers

Delivering more effective WSUD outcomes on-site and across the catchment by building on existing frameworks

• The council introduced a WSUD planning policy in 2014, which requires developers to meet their stormwater requirements on-site. (You can read about the policy in our case study here.) Building on this policy, the council implemented an offset scheme as part of its long term plan for its MV2040 Strategy.
• While the development industry is improving its application of WSUD, many developers struggle to achieve more than 80% compliance on-site using a rainwater tank. And they are less confident about alternative on-site initiatives that could achieve the remaining requirements.
• The council learned from the experience of the City of Kingston, which introduced a Stormwater Quality Contribution Payments scheme in 2017.

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Project stats


Melbourne, Victoria


September 2020



Full Case study


The outcomes

Cities providing ecosystem services

  • Large-scale effectiveness – Council can incorporate greening, urban cooling, habitat provision and biodiversity considerations into larger municipal projects funded by the scheme’s in-lieu contributions.

Cities as water supply catchments

  • Effective on-site initiatives – A minimum requirement of 80% stormwater treatment compliance on site using solutions such as rainwater tanks provides a substitute for potable water.
  • Stormwater harvesting and water quality treatment systems – Large-scale council-led projects funded by the scheme provide stormwater harvesting systems for potential reuse and improve the quality of water entering Port Phillip Bay and local waterways.

Cities comprising water sensitive communities

  • Raising awareness of WSUD – Large-scale council projects located in high profile areas with clear signage raise community awareness about the role and importance of WSUD. Requiring developers to implement some on-site WSUD also progresses industry understanding of WSUD opportunities.
  • Sharing knowledge – Councils and developers can benefit from the experience and lessons of others to create stronger water sensitive cities.

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