Finding the balance between water quality treatment and public open space

Project aims:

  1. to determine criteria for optimal sizing of water quality treatment systems embedded within public open space that achieve water quality objectives and facilitate community enjoyment of the space.
  2. to provide an evidence based understanding of the land take efficiency and water quality treatment efficacy of at-source and end-of-pipe water quality systems

Project progress:

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Project outline:

This project will consider four sites with varying soil type and depth to groundwater. A multi-criteria analysis of various potential water management strategies will be undertaken for each site including consideration of the following factors:

  • land take efficiency
  • ease (and relative cost) of installation
  • ease (and relative cost) of maintenance
  • amenity and aesthetic benefits
  • ability to achieve desired water quality outcomes



The analysis will be undertaken in consultation with representatives who are involved in the planning, design, construction, management, maintenance and financing of water quality treatment systems. The project will include the following specific phases:

  1. Site selection and development of a standardised methodology for the assessment including street, lot and public open space sizing and layout as well as alternative approaches to water management to enable comparative assessment.
  2. Stakeholder consultation to identify specific preferences, issues, and potential mitigation strategies and costs for each of the assessed criteria.
  3. Comparative multi-criteria assessment of the sites and reporting.

Project benefits & beneficiaries

  • WA State government – this project is expected to contribute to the delivery of commitment number 41 of the State Government’s Green Growth Plan: Action Plan G State Environmental Objectives. the project will provide evidence-based information to improve the delivery of water sensitive urban design outcomes in urban developments.
  • Local Government – the project will provide guidance for appropriate design and management of new and retrofitted water quality treatment systems in urban areas to facilitate improved environmental and community outcomes in the Swan-Canning catchment.
  • Landowners and developers – the project will assist landowners in understanding the impacts and opportunities of their current and potential future land uses and provide guidance on ways that land use change can positively contribute to water quality improvements.



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Download project outline