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Integrated Water Management, Nyungar cultural associations and regional sustainability in urban developments on the Swan Coastal Plain

Anda, M., Hill, A., Milani, S., Byrne, J. and Ho, G. (2003) Integrated Water Management, Nyungar cultural associations and regional sustainability in urban developments on the Swan Coastal Plain. In: International Sustainability Conference, 17 - 19 September, Fremantle, Western Australia

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Abstract

A new rating model for Integrated Urban Water Management is proposed for Perth’s urban residential developments that reflects an existing culturally embedded indigenous concept of sustainability and ethics, which draws on Perth’s Water Sensitive Urban Design work and emphasises the protection of the integrity of receiving waters of wetlands, creeks and the estuary. The importance of keeping drainage inverts above AAMGL in particular will be addressed. The importance of water quality management in terms of managing and avoiding heavy metal and nutrient mobilisation and contact, in terms of groundwater pollution risk, managing for acid sulphate soils and sediment and erosion control will also be considered. To rate highly on this model designs will need to address all of the water management issues adequately at the house lot, neighbourhood and regional scales. Developments which do this will be given a five turtle or YYYYY rating. A number of different scenarios are prepared for each site being considered and finally the preferred scenario is selected. The base scenario assumes that water efficient appliances and systems will be used throughout the development. It is assumed the building guidelines will ensure scheme water use only occurs inside the home with AAA minimum water efficient appliances, rainwater from tanks supplies some internal uses, and that all landscape irrigation is by surface or subsurface drip with non-scheme sources. This alone ensures that the development is using in the order of 50% less water than a conventional development. The other scenarios variously substitute scheme and groundwater use with recycled greywater or total wastewater. Infiltration of stormwater occurs increasingly while moving through the scenarios. Local and regional strategies to improve groundwater quality increase also while moving through the scenarios. Plant species are recommended to enhance local biodiversity and that have water requirements appropriate to the local water balance. This rating process has been applied qualitatively on a case study south of Perth. In this case study the opportunities and constraints that exist for treating and utilising each of these sources are considered.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: Environmental Technology Centre
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/21119
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