Happy new year from Urbaqua: new focus, new projects & new staff

Welcome to 2017 everyone! We hope you have all recovered from the food comas, hangovers, and sunshine that is the celebration of Christmas, New Year’s and any other  holidays you get to celebrate!


The Urbaqua team initiated its new grad student by forcing him to wear a ridiculous hat at the 2016 Christmas party. To Alex’s credit he was very good about it.

The Urbaqua team has officially kicked off the year by working with the WA Region Advisory Panel for the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities to look at a range of new reseach projects, as well as becoming the new project manager for the WA WSUD capacity building program New WAter Ways!

Urbaqua will be keeping itself out of mischief by working with the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities and other partners across the country to develop and implement the second tranche of research projects known as Integrated Research Projects (IRPs) in 2017 in order to set Perth on its way to becoming a Water Sensitive City (WSC). These projects will focus on delivering a transition strategy, economic evaluation framework, improving integrated urban planing and infill development, and improving our knowledge of developing in areas of high groundwater.

A huge number and range of workshops, technical tours, training sessions and presentations will be organised by New WAter Ways this year under management of Urbaqua, the first of which is a training session on Better Urban Water Management on 21st February, so watch this space: http://www.newwaterways.org.au/events

On top of all this, Urbaqua will continue the high level technical consulting work of its predecessor, Essential Environmental, as exemplified by a number of key projects already underway this year including:

  • City of SwanDevelopment of a Tree Canopy Approach, to provide the City with a suite of options that may be implemented in order to successfully increase the number of trees in its urban areas in the long term. This has included detailed analysis of existing strategies, policies and programs developed by the City and other local governments and organisations; the outcomes of consultation with external agencies, stakeholders and internal City staff; and an analysis of key barriers, gaps and opportunities on which a final recommended set of options were based;
  • City of CanningLake Street urban stream design, further development of a preliminary design to ensure high quality treatment and conveyance of stormwater runoff is achieved in addition to improving public amenity in Lake St, Canning; and
  • City of BusseltonBusselton Stormwater Infrastructure Improvement Project, development of an inventory of stormwater assets, a vegetated WSUD asset maintenance manual, training delivery, schedule of works, and opportunities for new and retrofit projects for water quality improvement within the City.

Last, but certainly not least, we have acquired a fantastic (and good-spirited) graduate environmental engineer, Alex Towler, who proved himself by enthusiastically participating in our annual Christmas party activities (see above). In addition, Hanna Sutton (another brilliant environmental engineering student from UWA) has also joined us for 6 weeks to absorb all the environmental/water-y consulting and research information she can in our time with us.

Alex is also set to become Urbaqua‘s Next Top Blogger/Vlogger with his experience already evident on YouTube (proving that he can also access the millenials market!). Check out one of his vlog’s below!