Water-sensitive cities: Applying the framework to Melbourne

Sara Lloyd, Tony Wong, Sheridan Blunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Key thinkers have been developing a strategic framework for transforming cities into water-sensitive cities. Transforming Melbourne into a water-sensitive city has been a focus of the City of Melbourne through undertaking an integrated water management strategy coined "city as a catchment", and is being progressively undertaken by other local municipalities. Critical to applying the framework has been to establish water quality and water conservation targets that councils are able to commit to. The paper outlines a key approach adopted to diversify water supply options through the provision of both centralised and decentralised water schemes, ranging from the simple rainwater tank for non-potable use to large scale stormwater harvesting schemes. Stormwater not harvested is treated to improve its quality prior to discharge to the environment for the protection of aquatic ecosystems. The paper presents an overview of the implementation plan for the City of Melbourne that clearly establishes a vision for the city and demonstrates how selection of on-ground works relate to water conservation, best practice stormwater management targets and wastewater minimisation. This includes implementing sustainable urban water management approaches across all of the city's assets (including parks and gardens, building and roads). In implementing the framework, Council's influence would extend adoption beyond the public domain by facilitating private participation through regulations and provisions of incentives for the uptake of WSUD in the private domain (including commercial and residential sites).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Journal of Water Resources
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Integrated water management
  • Water-sensitive cities
  • WSUD

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