How to make Perth a water-sensitive city

Monday, 08 February, 2016

A water resources expert at The University of Western Australia (UWA) says a major rethink is needed by policymakers, planners and the general public if Perth is going to successfully transition to become a water-sensitive city.

Professor Anas Ghadouani, the executive director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC), said cities and towns all over Australia are “grappling with the question of how to use water management to achieve the goal of becoming water-sensitive or self-sustaining”.

“A whole new approach is required that is all about innovation; fit-for-purpose designs across a range of scales which can provide adaptable local solutions,” he said.

“It’s not just about one provider anymore, and is going to require real collaboration between a range of stakeholders across all the relevant sectors, including water, planning, community, urban development and other related areas.”

The CRCWSC report ‘Shaping Perth as a Water Sensitive City’, published in November 2015, highlights the need for integrative and adaptable fit-for-purpose water infrastructure to cater for a broad range of uses and users. It pinpoints the necessity for more innovative water cycle management to better utilise alternative water sources, such as recycled wastewater.

According to Professor Ghadouani, a move to recycled water is inevitable.

“Recycling is becoming a necessity and a sustainable water future will demand it, so if you aren’t already drinking recycled wastewater, you soon will be,” he said.

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