Water Sensitive Urban Design

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is a set of design elements and on-ground solutions that aim to minimise impacts on the water cycle from the built urban environment. It offers a simplified and integrated approach to land and water planning by dealing with the urban water cycle in a decentralised manner consistent with natural hydrological and ecological processes.

WSUD includes:

  • Utilising water saving measures within and outside domestic, commercial, industrial and institutional premises to minimise requirements for drinking and non-drinking water supplies;
  • Storage, treatment and beneficial use of runoff (at building and street level, including stormwater);
  • Treatment and reuse of wastewater; and
  • Using vegetation for treatment purposes, water efficient landscaping and enhancing biodiversity and amenity.

Water Sensitive Urban Design often makes use of biofiltration systems such as wetlands & drainage swales to help clean stormwater before it is released into waterways or used for irrigation, and the City of Onkaparinga has also used a rain garden for this purpose.

Related Pages


The following site members have contributed to this page:

External Links & References

  1. Queensland Urban Drainage Manual
  2. Planning in South Australia Water Sensitive Urban Design Page
  3. Construction and Establishment Guidelines: Swales, Bioretention Systems and Wetlands (Water by Design)
  4. Gold Coast Planning Scheme 2003 Policy 11 - Land Development Guidelines
  5. Water Sensitive Urban Design: Engineering Procedures for Stormwater Managment in Tasmainia
  6. Google Search
  7. Keep it Simple WSUD - Jack Mullaly (March 2017)
  8. Ideanthro That's Like WSUD Video Playlist
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