About WSUD in Sydney

Program Objectives

The WSUD in Sydney Program is an initiative of the Greater Sydney Local Land Services and seeks to deliver the tools and resources necessary for Sydney to become a Water Sensitive City. It aims to increase the capacity and commitment of Sydney Metropolitan councils to implement WSUD, through:

  • Increasing the abilities and resources of individuals and organisations who are responsible for implementing WSUD;
  • Facilitating the exchange of information and embedding of WSUD in policy, practices and on-ground works.

Program Delivery

The Greater Sydney LLS’s WSUD Program is delivered in parallel with the  Botany Bay Water Quality Improvement Plan, Sydney Harbour Catchment Water Quality Improvement Plan and various stormwater management projects; in conjunction with other regional and national capacity initiatives.

It is through these initiatives and stakeholder networks (about 1,200 regional and nationwide practitioners), the Program generates cross-sectoral linkages – Government, Industry and Research; promoting communities of practice, which foster the transfer of information, tools and resources; and providing the means to learn with and from each other during our transition to a Water Sensitive City.

A council needs analysis targeting 11 councils in 2011/12 and delivered by the Program has looked at the knowledge and professional development needed to encourage WSUD, and the inter and intra-organisational strengthening activities required to foster this.  This baseline information on the status of the Metropolitan Councils has then been used to direct the WSUD Programme.  This ‘needs analysis’ will inform the development and delivery of the following modules, which have been selected because of their tested adaptability to regionally identified knowledge gaps and capacity deficits:

  • Bi-monthly newsletter;
  • Capacity Building Workshops;
  • Technical Training Program;
  • Partnership in the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities– a 9 year national research program;
  • Development of practical tangible resources and tools housed at wsud.org.

A comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and reporting program will ensure the continued adaptation of the Program’s deliverables in accordance with evolving regional stakeholder needs.

Program History

The program started at the former Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority and had previously been called ‘Water Sensitive Urban Design in the Sydney Region’. It was established in 2001 by Reid Butler and John Dahlenburg. John assumed sole management from 2003 till 2007, followed by Kate Black (2007-2011) and Phillip Birtles (2011-2013) and is currently managed by Peter Freewater at the Greater Sydney LLS.

The WSUD in Sydney Program was cooperatively developed and coordinated by the Upper Parramatta River Catchment Trust (UPRCT), Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), Sydney Coastal Councils Group (SCCG), the NSW Stormwater Trust, and Sydney Water.