Up to 500 million m³ of drinking water gets lost in many mega cities each year, according to a 2010 United Nations report, the equivalent of 200,000 Olympic swimming pools. This wastage of a vital resource is precisely what the planning and engineering design approach known as water sensitive urban design (WSUD or water sensitive cities) is trying to combat.
WikiTribune is looking into WSUD, a global approach seeking to integrate the urban water cycle into city design. This includes all kinds of groundwater, stormwater and wastewater management policies and water supply.
The aim is to take advantage of each drop of water, minimize environmental degradation and improve aesthetic and recreational appeal.
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Australia is a leader in water sensitive policies. For example, Tony Wong, chief executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities of Australia (CRCWSC), won the 2018 International Water Association Global Water Award on September 16.
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The CRCWSC is working on several Australian projects, from new drainage systems to water-efficient communities, including:
- Brisbane’s Rain Bank – A stormwater harvesting and reuse center in the South Bank parkland. It aims to help future-proof the area from long-term drought conditions by capturing, storing and treating enough water to service up to 85 percent of the parkland’s water needs.
- Drinking Orange’s stormwater – The New South Wales city of Orange has developed a method to harvest urban stormwater to supply up to 25 percent of its potable water.
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