Welcome to New WAter Ways

This summer in WA has seen some extremes in climate, with some areas recording their coolest January day ever, as well as the second wettest day ever in February....what do you think we will see in March?
In order to address climate extremes in the future, our cities will need strategies to enhance resilience, such as reduced reliance on scheme water and increased access to water through managed aquifer recharge. If you want to see these strategies in action, come along to our demo tours next week and next month. See below for more details and hope to see you there!
Thanks also for the awesome photos sent in last week. Our readership definitely appreciated them!


New WAter Ways water sensitive demonstration tours - last call for next week's bus trip!

On Tuesday 28 February we are heading to WGV to see how a precinct has been designed to minimise water and energy use. Participants will be shown how water is captured, stored, recycled and recharged within the development. We would love you to join us to hear all about it!
Then on Wednesday 29 March we're heading in another direction - to the foothills where the Hartfield Park Managed Aquifer Recharge project has facilitated the creation of a regionally important recreational reserve by providing a sustainable source of water for irrigation. This tour will showcase the lessons learnt during the design, construction, testing and operational phases of Perth's first MAR project.
Don't miss out! Jump on the bus and see these sites for yourself.


Museum of Water - what water will you keep?

‘Life, death and all the washing up in between.’ (The Guardian) 
A vial of tears, melted ice from Antarctica and a plastic bottle of billabong water – every drop tells a story. Choose your water, find something to put it in and tell us why you brought it. PIAF Artist-in-Residence Amy Sharrocks invites you to consider your relationship with the world’s most indispensable liquid as we build the WA edition of the award-winning Museum of Water. Ends 5 March (PIAF)


Brackish Rising

A multi-faceted project by artists Mike Bianco and Loren Kronemyer which engages with issues of salt, water, desalination, ecology and water sovereignty around Kwinana. Presented as a part of the 2017 Perth International Arts Festival, the project will call attention to the past, present and future of water in Southwest Australia, including the role of the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant, a facility that has provided over 20% of all potable water in the Perth metropolitan area for the past decade. (PIAF & City of Kwinana)


Innovation vouchers for great local ideas

The Government continues to support Western Australian innovators with the Innovation Vouchers Program opening for applications. The $400,000 fund provided essential support for innovators to take their ideas to market as quickly as possible. (DPC Media Statements)


Disaster assistance for flood affected communities in Western Australia

Disaster assistance has been announced by the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) in response to flooding that affected Western Australia in January and February 2017. (DPC Media Statements)


Revitalising Geographe Waterways

Revitalising Geographe Waterways is a State Government initiative to improve water quality, waterway health and management of Geographe Waterways. The program is delivered through partnerships and is overseen by the Vasse Taskforce. Over the next four years, projects and activities will focus on improving water quality across five key water assets – Geographe Bay catchment, Vasse-Wonnerup wetlands, Lower Vasse River, Toby Inlet and rural drainage networks. (GeoCatch)


Desalination of WA dam water provides irrigation relief

The Western Australian government has committed $37 million to help fund an innovative solution to a long standing salinity problem in the 185 GL Wellington Dam, boosting agriculture in the region and providing a new source of potable water. A key part of the project is the diversion of high salinity water from the Collie River which will be desalinated and sold for high value potable use, providing the essential economic viability of the project. (AWA)


$20 million irrigation grants scheme announced

A $20 million competitive grants program to drive investment in innovative water use for agriculture has been launched as part of the Water for Food program. The Water Irrigation Innovation Grants program made possible by Royalties for Regions will encourage new investment to support local industry development in regional, remote and rural areas facing water challenges. (Royalties for Regions)


Release of the Northern Perth Basin Bulletin

The northern Perth Basin bulletin provides a single, complete source of hydrogeological information about the basin, describing the resources and providing stratigraphic data and hydraulic parameters. It provides the hydrogeological basis for the Department of Water’s management and protection of groundwater resources and environmental values in a climate of increasing demand for water. (DoW)


Study finds disconnect between asset management theory and practice

Big data, smart asset management and customer-centricity are driving the water sector, but the industry is just in the early stages of gearing up to embrace them, a new study has found. Asset Management The Water Services Association Australia’s latest Asset Management Customer Value Project 2016 (delivered by AECOM and CH2M) asked utilities and service providers around the world about what mega-trends were driving them and how well prepared they were to realise associated opportunities. (AWA)


Climate Institute releases new report on extreme weather

Climate change is now influencing all extreme weather events – with some of the most severe climate impacts occurring in 2016, our latest report has found. Cranking Up The Intensity: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events finds that while the links between climate change and some extreme weather events such as bushfires and heatwaves are well-established, the evidence linking climate change to storms and heavy rainfall is also growing. Read the full report here. (The Fifth Estate)

Geothermal cooling, cycle paths and jobs: what does it take to get six green stars?

With murder rates double, and robbery rates three times, the state average, the Sydney suburb of Blacktown is not an obvious choice as a world leader of sustainable living. But, in 2016, a new master-planned estate in the suburb became the first residential community in New South Wales to be awarded a top, six-star Green Star community rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). Not only that, Fairwater, developed by Frasers Property, is the largest geothermal community in the southern hemisphere. Houses are cooled or heated by a refrigerant that pumps air underground then back to the surface, using less power than air-conditioning or heating and saving residents of a three-bedroom house $500 to $600 a year. (The Guardian)


When the heat is on, we need city-wide plans to keep cool

The recent spate of heatwaves through eastern Australia has reminded us we’re in an Australian summer. On top of another record hot year globally, and as heatwaves become more frequent and intense, our cities are making us even hotter. This is the urban heat island, where city temperatures can be significantly warmer than the surrounding rural regions. The question, then, is what we can do to keep our cities cooler. (The Conversation)


An innovative approach to tackling water scarcity

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is encouraging innovators in the US and internationally to take on the “Water Abundance Challenge” during a visit to XPRIZE Headquarters in Los Angeles, where she met with Robert Weiss, President and Vice Chair. The Australian Government is partnering with XPRIZE and India’s Tata Group to run the ‘Water Abundance Prize’ - an open challenge to use technology to improve affordable access to clean water in high humidity areas where water is currently unavailable or inaccessible. (Department of Foreign Affairs)


Presenting the flood-resistant house

As climate change impacts worsen, how we build homes will need to change to protect against hotter temperatures, higher sea levels, and increased storm severity, fire and flood risk. Here we look at a demonstration house with features to protect against floodwater developed in Britain to inspire builders and developers, as well as home buyers, who still persist in building and occupying new homes on land that is vulnerable to flooding despite government advice to the contrary. The house, built in Watford north of London, includes flood resistant doors and windows, water resilient walls and insulation, a kitchen with moveable units, and floor and wall membranes to channel water towards floor drains. (Fifth State)


‘Forest cities': the radical plan to save China from air pollution

When Stefano Boeri imagines the future of urban China he sees green, and lots of it. Office blocks, homes and hotels decked from top to toe in a verdant blaze of shrubbery and plant life; a breath of fresh air for metropolises that are choking on a toxic diet of fumes and dust. Last week, the Italian architect, famed for his tree-clad Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) skyscraper complex in Milan, unveiled plans for a similar project in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing. (The Guardian)

Meet El Niño’s cranky uncle that could send global warming into hyperdrive

You’ve probably heard about El Niño, the climate system that brings dry and often hotter weather to Australia over summer. You might also know that climate change is likely to intensify drought conditions, which is one of the reasons climate scientists keep talking about the desperate need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the damaging consequences if we don’t. (The Conversation)


Australian-led project set to improve water security in urban slums

What would it take to bring clean drinking water and improve water security in some of the world’s poorest areas? An Australian-led and internationally recognised project is determined to find the answer.  A consortium led by Monash University's Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI) will oversee the water-sensitive upgrade of 24 informal settlements – or slums – in Fiji and Indonesia. (AWA)


The Highest Public Garden in London

The Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street is a unique public space that spans three storeys and offers 360 degree views across the City of London. Visitors can wander around the exquisitely landscaped gardens, observation decks and an open air terrace of what is London’s highest public garden. The landscape designer opted for a series of richly planted terraces and the planting is dominated by drought resistant Mediterranean and South African species. Individual plants have been chosen to work with the particular quality of light found under the roof canopy (Twisted Sifter)


CRC for Water Sensitive Cities

Help with CRC for Water Sensitive City project.

The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities is seeking information on life cycle costing of existing biofilter systems in Australia. The 1-page document outlines the information being sought.  This project will add valuable information to the costing figures used in the Adoption guidelines for stormwater biofiltration systems (CRCWSC 2015) and fill an industry knowledge gap that is hindering broader uptake of biofilter technologies. If you have any contacts, documents or other information that would be useful, please email Christelle Schang, ((03 9902 9885) Research Assistant at the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.


A framework for urban wetland management in the Water Sensitive City

The expansion of cities puts pressure on surrounding ecosystems – and Perth’s diverse but declining wetland environments are a prime example. But how can those involved in water management work jointly to mitigate impacts? Amar Nanda shares the outcomes of a recent CRCWSC stakeholder workshop that brought together researchers, managers, and community to identify – step-by-step – better ways to manage wetlands for resilience to drought.


A more nuanced picture of urban hydrology opens doors for honing water sensitive urban design

Picture raingardens sprouting with plant life, constructed wetlands enjoyed by joggers and families, and vegetated swales that add greenery to the sides of roads. All of these elements bring aesthetic beauty to the landscape of a city. But by boosting its ability to absorb and filter stormflows, they are also multifunctional elements of water sensitive urban design (WSUD): the increasingly visible principle that underlies a Water Sensitive City.

New WAter Ways Events

New Water Ways Bus tours


WGV – Water sensitive exemplar development

When: 9am – 12pm, Tuesday 28 February 2017
Where: White Gum Valley
Cost: $50 (incl GST)
“One Planet Living” – living within the limits of this planet’s available natural resources – has been at the core of the development of the 2.82 ha precinct in the City of Fremantle. Water, energy, community and biodiversity are all carefully considered in the planning of this development. Landcorp has created living spaces and communal use areas that address the needs of the ‘middle density’ dwellers. This bus tour will take attendees to consider four areas of the precinct: the public open space; a reengineered stormwater sump; Gen Y Housing and SHAC (affordable housing for artists and creatives by Access Housing); and Yalgoo Avenue verge tree and swale. Each area will be considered for its commitment to reduced and fit-for-purpose water use, energy efficiency, strengthening community living and enhanced biodiversity.
Places are limited and are on a first come first served basis.

To book, please click here.


Hartfield Park Managed Aquifer Recharge – Foothills Water Proofing Project: Retain, Reduce, Reuse!

When: 9am – 12pm, 29 March 2017
Where: Hartfield Park Kalamunda
Cost: $50 (incl GST)
Addressing the pressures on increased water scarcity has been at the heart of research into supplementing natural groundwater resources. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is a process that uses waste water to recharge an aquifer – under controlled conditions. The results can have significant social, environmental and economic benefits.
Hartfield Park in the Shire of Kalamunda is where stormwater intended for urban wastewater drains is extracted, filtered and re-injected it into the aquifer thereby increasing the Shire’s water allocation, and thus making the growing need for irrigated sports fields viable.
This New Water Ways bus tour will take attendees on a guided tour of the facilities and surrounding recreation fields for an in-depth look and discussion of MAR.

Places are limited so booking is essential. Click here to secure your seat.


Water Sensitive Cities Speaker Series

Are you working on a project that is making your city, locality, suburb or precinct a more water sensitive place? We would love to hear from you! We are always on the look out for innovative ways that push the envelope on what helps Perth transition to a water Sensitive City. Email us ( or call us (08 9328 4663). You bring us the project and we'll organise the audience!


New WAter Ways Training Sessions

New WAter Ways Training Sessions aim to provide introductory information on processes and concepts for local government and industry planners, engineers, landscape architects, asset managers and developers.
If you are new to the NWW training sessions, we suggest, if possible, attending them in the order they appear below:
  • Better Urban Water Management -  completed
  • Introduction to stormwater management practices - 21 March 2017
  • Groundwater management for urban development – 23 May 2017
  • Local water management strategies – how to get it right - 20 June 2017
  • Biofilters – 25 July 2017
  • Retrofitting for WSUD – 22 August 2017
  • Maintenance – 19 September 2017
Please visit the new page dedicated to the NWW training sessions here for full details of each training session.

There is no cost for attendance at these sessions, however registration is essential as places are limited – Please email

Please note: an administration fee may be applied (post training) if you have registered and do not attend, or fail to provide an acceptable notification of non-attendance three days prior to a course commencing and/or a replacement person cannot be found.


NWW Fact Sheets and Case Studies

New Water Ways has published a range of fact sheets and case studies that addresses various aspects of water sensitive urban design. We are continually working on growing this list, and publish them as they are developed. This information and guidance helps water practitioners gain a better understanding of WSUD and is a good starting point for planners, engineers and landscape designers to consult in the pursuit of their work. Click here to access the list of fact sheets, and here to access the case studies. In addition, a matrix of how each overarching guidance fits into the design scale has been developed. This can be viewed here.


Other Events

Museum of Water

When: 18 Feb – 5 March 2017
Where: Various sites
‘Life, death and all the washing up in between.’ The Guardian
What water will you keep?
A vial of tears, melted ice from Antarctica and a plastic bottle of billabong water – every drop tells a story. Choose your water, find something to put it in and tell us why you brought it. PIAF Artist-in-Residence Amy Sharrocks invites you to consider your relationship with the world’s most indispensable liquid as we build the WA edition of the award-winning Museum of Water. More (PIAF)

Courage and ethics in community engagement and planning

When: 4 – 5pm, 27 February 2017
Where: 210 : 102 Norm Dufty, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley
This talk presents a “real-life” account of how courage and professional ethics can be tested when we work in the “real world”.  Learning to navigate our way through situations and dilemmas tests us all.  Wendy Sarkissin’s aim is to provide a few insights so you can think about where you might draw your courage from when you face situations like this. More

Stormwater WA Supports Organic Filter Media Workshop

When: 9 March 2017
Where: Richgro, Jandakot WA
The purpose of the research has been to investigate the effectiveness of infiltration systems containing organic filter media. The research has led to an understanding of the specific mechanisms that result in filter media performance effectiveness. CORE has developed an accreditation system (BIOMASS) that uses processes developed from the research to identify the reactive characteristics of specific components and their relationship to factors including the effectiveness of pollutant removal, nutrient and water retention capacity, hydrology lifespan and vegetation growth and integrity. More

IPWEA South West Branch Professional Development Forum – Creating Great Public Spaces

When: 10 March 2017
Where: Quality Hotel Lord Forrest, 20 Symmons Street, Bunbury
Josh Byrne, Director, Josh Byrne & Associates, and Gardening Australia TV Presenter is delighted to present to our members and guests about what makes a great public space, providing ideas and inspiration for incorporating landscaping into community projects. More

IPWEA’s 2017 City Super Day

When: Friday 17 March, 2017
Where: Botanical Rooms, The Crown Resort
The City Super Day revolves around creating and strengthening relationships between people and organisations, and the theme “Sustainability: Make it Green” is what public work professionals are working towards the future for the industry in metro, regional and outback communities. More

Ozwater ’17 – Future vision: How water utilities can plan for an uncertain future.

When: 16 – 18 May 2017
Where: International Convention Centre, Sydney
Ozwater ’17 are very pleased to announce their first international keynote speaker, Dr Sander Klous, Partner-in-Charge Data & Analytics at KPMG. Also at Ozwater'17, you'll hear a panel session on growing pains for recycled water schemes, a technical session on how to better prepare for an unknowable future, plus a poster presentation on using data driven methods to optimise water quality and distribution systems. Ozwater’17 has something for all areas of interest from technical to change management so be sure to check out the Ozwater’17 program and register today! More

3rd Water Sensitive Cities Conference – Perth 2017

When: 18 – 20 July, 2017
Where: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
Our 2017 Conference promises to be even better than the 2015 conference. We'll celebrate the conclusion of the CRCWSC's Tranche 1 research by showcasing key results and recommendations, and corresponding on-ground practices. We will announce our second phase of integrated research and research adoption projects for Tranche 2 (2016-2021). More


Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize (ASJWP) is now open for 2017

Closing date: 20 March 2017
The ASJWP is an annual water science competition for high school students aged 15 - 20, and is a key part of the AWA National Awards program. The winner of the Australian competition, announced at Ozwater’17, goes on to compete internationally at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize during World Water Week in August. The student is awarded a fully-funded trip to Stockholm to participate in a week-long cultural exchange program with national winners from over 33 other nations. More


Singapore PUB Overseas Seed Fund for Water Technologies

Closing date: 18 April 2017
The Public Utilities Board (PUB) is Singapore’s national water agency, and the Overseas Seed Fund on Water Technologies aims to solicit breakthrough ideas to develop proof-of-concept for disruptive water technologies that will bring water research in Singapore to a new level.  The Seed Fund seeks to reward high-risk, high-return research proposals, and is open to support any work that applies new theories and methodologies addressing Singapore’s current water supply and demand challenges. This call for proposals is open to overseas institutes of higher learning, research institutes, and private companies. Selected proposals will qualify for 100% funding support for approved qualifying costs.  More: Fact sheet; Proposal template; and Singapore info.


Funding for waterwise verges

Verges form important greenspaces in our communities, helping with urban cooling and creating ecological corridors through our streetscapes. For endorsed Waterwise Councils offering ratepayers a rebate or incentive to create a waterwise verge consistent with the Water Corporations' guidelines, Water Corporation will match that contribution, up to a total of $10,000 a year. For more information, including how to become a Waterwise Council, please email the Water Corp's Water Efficiency team.
Shelley Shepherd
New WAter Ways
Phone: 0403 170 040

New WAter Ways presents this information in the spirit of keeping the water community up to date with relevant events and courses available to build technical expertise. This should not be seen as an endorsement by New WAter Ways or its partners in respect to the content or accuracy of any course or information presented. While every attempt is made to present accurate information on events, dates, scholarships, jobs etc no responsibility is taken for the accuracy of any of the information

New Water Ways represents a partnership of the Department of Water, Department of Planning, Western Australian Local Government Association, Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) and the Department of Parks and Wildlife (Rivers and Estuaries Division)

Shelley Shepherd
New WAter Ways
Phone: 0403 170 040


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New WAter Ways · PO Box 248, Leederville · Perth, WA 6903 · Australia

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