We are privileged to have been a SME partner of the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities over the last 5 years, helping to inform and test their research and products. Nevertheless, we were blown away by their recent roadshows which showcased all of the products and tools that have been developed. The exciting thing is that so many are ready to use right now in our work!
Here are the highlights for us.....
The Scenario Platform:
This is a really exciting way to test and visualise different development proposals at the planning stage. Currently in beta mode, but available to test, the platform allows you to import a GIS base to test scenarios spatially. The tool will allow you to compare different proposals in terms of their water balance (water demand, stormwater generation, wastewater generation), and to also examine their impact on local microclimate (surface temperature and air temperature).
Overall, this is a great visual aid to talk to planners and urban designers as you can integrate different WSUD proposals across the site and see the difference! The following diagram shows how we used it recently to demonstrate the differences between a number of development scenarios in Brisbane.
The INFFEWS Cost Benefit and Values Tool:
We enjoyed testing out the INFFEWS tool to evaluate a business case for passively watered street trees – and we were glad to see the cost-benefit came out positively! The 'Cost Benefit' tool provides a spreadsheet framework that allows you to assess costs and benefits over a lifetime and see how these distribute to different stakeholders – which is so important to Integrated Water Management! The 'Values' tool then compliments this by providing a database of studies that provide values for various ‘intangible’ benefits like amenity and ecological value.
Water Sensitive Cities Index:
We’ve been involved in this one from the start and we are now accredited providers of the WSC Index service. Having seen it work at all scales, from local council areas to whole city regions, we’ve found this is a great way to bring key stakeholders together to establish a clear view of how far a city or municipality has come, and which aspects still need action.
Find out more here: https://watersensitivecities.org.au/solutions/wsc-index/
Want to drive change in your organisation? Delivering water sensitive cities isn’t just about delivering on-ground projects – fostering the right culture and knowledge internally is essential. The CRCWSC have developed a framework to guide the transition.
As project leaders of the CRCWSC Project D1.4, Kim and Celeste developed case studies to support and encourage the adoption of WSC outcomes. These case studies showcase actual projects which demonstrate how the knowledge developed by the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities can be applied in practice. The case studies were developed in collaboration with the project stakeholders to identify the key drivers and innovations which led to the discovery of water sensitive cities outcomes, and to highlight any challenges faced during the process.
The case studies can be found here: https://watersensitivecities.org.au/solutions/water-sensitive-cities-case-studies/