ICON Water Sensitive Urban Developments - Dec 2009
This report was prepared by CSIRO Land and Water for the Joint Steering Committee for Water Sensitive Cities (JSCWSC) to evaluate existing 'icon water-sensitive urban developments' and identify gaps in knowledge and lessons for implementing and promoting water-sensitive urban (WSU) developments in Australia.
The report finds that, while current policy and regulatory frameworks for urban water services have evolved to support conventional centralised service provision, there is much evolution required for similar support for WSU development.
Notwithstanding significant changes over the past ten years, there is still need for greater alignment of policy and regulation between different levels of government to address issues such as inconsistencies in policy and guidelines.
This is evidenced by poor coordination between the multiple institutions responsible for different aspects of the water cycle for the icon WSU developments of this study.
The report also found that regulation can act as a disincentive to WSU development. Current regulatory and legislative frameworks are not yet reflective of the integrated nature of WSU development. The lack of clarity often results in a climate of risk aversion, resulting in extended delays in approval processes.
A lack of guidelines on a range of technical aspects, inconsistency between performance evaluation requirements between states and territories and the lack of clear regulation act as barriers to WSU development. Areas in need of guidelines include sewer mining, WSU development for medium and high density buildings and retrofit developments, and integration of multiple supply sources. Increased consistency is also required for greywater and stormwater use guidelines across states and territories.