Water by Design
In order to enhance visual, social, cultural and ecological experiences in the urban landscape, we must create and maintain urban spaces that both protect environmental values and provide quality recreation and social opportunities.
Since 2005, our Water by Design initiative has been working with individuals and organisations to identify and fill knowledge gaps, and facilitate the uptake of improved practice in sustainable water management.
Healthy Land and Water works to encourage innovative practice and build regionally consistent approaches. By facilitating information exchange, networking, and constructive debate, practitioners are motivated to deliver high quality urban environments.
We identify and fill knowledge gaps with evidence-based resources and tools, promoting smarter policy that enables innovation.
We facilitate practice uptake by delivering capacity building services and products including training, guidelines and technical resources for practitioners in industry and local government.
Our priority areas:
Recovering Waterways: Incorporating total water cycle practices that encourage rehabilitation and protection of urban waterways while creating liveable places of value to the community.
Urban waterways provide flood management, amenity and cultural services to the community. Some of the key pressures that can impact upon the ability of waterways to provide these services include changes to water quality, groundwater, flow dynamics, and channel form. We can minimise the impacts of these changes through good practice in water sensitive urban design and erosion and sediment control, but once waterways are degraded, why, when, and how do we repair them?
Recovering waterways requires not only an understanding of how they function and the pressures on these functions, but also the core services and values that they provide to society.
Waterbody Management Guideline
The Healthy Waterways “Waterbody Management Guideline” provides a framework for managers dealing with waterbodies in all areas including development assessment, asset management, maintenance and operations as well as extension and engagement.
The guideline recognises that waterbodies need to be managed with the overall catchment in mind, as many of the impacts on and from the waterbody are tied to the broader landscape. It particularly focuses on standing water and artificial waterbodies such as urban lakes and farm dams.
State of the Streams
In addition, Healthy Waterways has conducted a scoping study “State of the Streams” to promote discussion and facilitate a collaborative approach to improved waterway management. This scoping study presents the views of waterway managers, community and industry partners, providing better understanding of stakeholder objectives for waterway management projects.
By building relationships between organisations, teams and people we are able to harmonise activities and investments in the water cycle, resulting in improved economic, social and environmental outcomes. We support government, industry and community to achieve these integrated outcomes by developing guidance, participating in and influencing reform processes and supporting proactive water cycle planning.
Integrated water cycle planning
As water moves through our landscape it is trapped, stored, purified, treated, discharged, used and re-used - this is called the water cycle. In the past, specific elements were considered independently with no overall picture of the total water cycle, resulting in inefficiencies, market distortions and unintended negative impacts. To minimise these risks while maximising liveability, environmental and economic goals, appropriate decisions in planning, development and infrastructure are required.
We are working with government and community to help achieve more integrated water cycle outcomes by developing guidance, participating in reform processes and supporting proactive and collaborative water cycle planning by local and state government.