Policies and guidelines

Once a city or town confirms its water sensitive vision, it needs to check whether the policy and regulatory environment will allow it to reach that vision.

When a city or town has policies that reinforce conventional water practices, it can have a hard time transitioning to new water sensitive systems. But when it has policies and guidelines that align with its water sensitive vision, its WSC transition can be thorough and enduring.

For this reason, the shift from conventional water management to a water sensitive city calls for:

  • significant change in culture, technical approaches, urban design principles, and governance approaches

  • coordination across sectors and levels of government

  • capacity building and support

  • structured incentives and supportive resources for leadership from communities, industries and governments.

Here are some examples of policy as a tool for influencing local, city and regional scale change.

Developing planning provisions for water sensitive urban design

Developing planning provisions and an assessment framework for green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design

South Australia’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 presents a unique opportunity to implement water sensitive urban design and green infrastructure through the planning system, making South Australia greener, more resilient and sustainable.

Several South Australian institutions recognise land use planning system is a key lever to facilitate multifunctional green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design. To help South Australia achieve its water sensitive future, the CRCWSC is helping to:

  • identify high level objectives and principles for green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act
  • define performance-based planning provisions for green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design
  • develop a framework for assessing green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design elements against the performance criteria.

Assessing stormwater pollutant treatments and standards

Assessing stormwater pollutant treatments and the appropriateness of current stormwater standards

Appropriately managed urban water and waterways are critical for creating liveable and sustainable urban environments. Conventional management strategies do not adequately address the current challenges of urban stormwater, but water sensitive urban design offer innovative stormwater management strategies that can create liveable and sustainable communities.

Victoria wants to improve its current stormwater management strategies and best practice environmental management guidelines. Stormwater management is an increasingly innovative field, and current planning controls are not keeping up. The CRCWSC and Alluvium conducted a literature review to understand the current situation and explore options for future planning controls. This review:

  • updated our understanding of the pollutant constituents of stormwater and their impacts
  • summarised the impact of flow regime on receiving environments, particularly waterways
  • identified and addressed the issues and knowledge gaps raised by industry stakeholders
  • collated information on the effectiveness of water sensitive urban design assets and how effectively they achieve the guidelines’ intended aims
  • explored the potential effect of extending the guideline targets beyond residential catchments.
Last updated: 22nd May 2020