Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD)
Have you ever wondered what Water Sensitive Urban Devise (WSUD) means, or why we need it?
Urbanisation of catchments introduces a lot of hard impermeable surfaces into the natural landscape which causes water runoff at unnatural levels that are really impacting nearby creeks and streams.
WSUD is the technology that has been developed around slowing the water down and allowing it to be treated before it flows from urban landscape into a receiving waterbody.
WSUD looks at water as a resource to be harnessed as opposed to a liability to be dealt with. This is a significant shift in thinking that is essential for the enhancement of local waterways and water quality.
WSUD also considers stormwater runoff as a resource and an opportunity to help cool our cities, create urban greenery and opportunities for nature, even local food production.
WSUD examples can be seen in the gallery below and may include:
- Rainwater tanks
- Biofilters and raingardens
- Stormwater harvesting in public places
- Wastewater recycling and reuse
- Improving water efficiency at household, neighbourhood and city-regional scale.
Since the early 1990s, Hornsby Council has led the way in the implementation of WSUD, largely through the Catchments Remediation Rate program
Despite this proactive approach, challenges still exist, such as changing government priorities, impacts from existing and future development and increasing pressure on water systems from climate change. Council needs to plan wisely to adequately service a growing population in a warming and drying climate, while ensuring sustainable, environmental, and liveability outcomes for the Shire.
In March 2021, Council endorsed the Water Sensitive Hornsby Strategy which provides a contemporary vision for a water sensitive future for Hornsby Shire and outlines the broad steps for Council to take to transition towards a water sensitive city.