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Better Urban Water Management: A Case Study of Perth, WA

Jennings, Siobhan Tara (2011) Better Urban Water Management: A Case Study of Perth, WA. Internship Report, Murdoch University.

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'Better Urban Water Management: A Case Study of Perth, WA' is a collaboration between Murdoch University and ENV Australia. The purpose of this study is to investigate Perth's achievement of the Better Urban Water Management (BUWM) design objectives (WAPC 2008) and to benchmark Perth in the Urban Water Management Transitions (UWMT) framework (Brown and Wong 2008).

The role of BUWM is to provide guidance in water efficiency and conservation, water quantity and water quality management through the urban planning process. The framework has been active since 2008 as a joint government and industry initiative to integrate WA‟s water and land use planning process. The UWMT framework focuses on 6 different city typologies characterised by socio-political drivers and service delivery functions, developed by the Centre for Water Sensitive Cities. The framework encapsulates the historic, current and future water cities of Australia. The two frameworks are an appropriate assessment of current urban water management in Perth as BUWM has played a key role in transforming urban water management in WA in recent years and the UWMT framework provides the next step in creating cities which are resilient to climate change and the associated impacts.

The study has focused on urban residential development in the Perth metropolitan area, with an analysis investigating seven case studies. This included examples of urban development pre-BUWM practice, current business-as-usual practice and best management practice within the two frameworks discussed. The analysis provided an overview of the current status of urban water management in Western Australian urban residential developments. The study concluded that BUWM design objectives are not being met and Perth's status in the Urban Water Management Transitions (UWMT) framework is a Waterways City, where a business-as-usual approach was applied. The study also concluded a wide range of different typologies are represented in the Perth metropolitan area, ranging from water supply city to water cycle city depending on the case study.

Recommendations are provided to bridge the gap between BUWM and achieving a Water Sensitive City. This included the support of behaviour change programs to nurture normative values of environment and sustainability, to encourage multi functionality of landscaped spaces to support hydro-social interactions, support for fit-for-purpose water systems and a diversification in arrangements and institutional arrangements of managing the water systems.

Item Type: Internship Report (Bachelor of Engineering)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
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