What is WSUD?
Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is a method that incorporates correct Water Cycle Management into urban planning and design. WSUD is based on the premise that the process of urban development and (importantly) redevelopment needs to address adequately the sustainability of the water environment. Stormwater management is a subset of WSUD directed at providing flood control, flow management, water quality improvements and opportunities to harvest stormwater to supplement mains water for non-potable uses (that is, toilet flushing, garden irrigation, etc.).
Image Courtesy: Elmich Pte Ltd.
WSUD recognises that opportunities for urban design, landscape architecture and stormwater management infrastructure are intrinsically linked. The WSUD practices can apply to Greenfield land development sites, redevelopment sites in build-up areas and, in some instances, to retrofits in fully urbanised catchments. The scale of application can range from individual houses, streetscapes and precincts, to whole catchments.
Benefits of a Water Sensitive Urban Design:
- Cares for and improves natural water systems in urban developments
- Groundwater recharge
- Protect environmentally sensitive areas from urban development
- Minimizes the impact on the environment of urban development
- Protect the quality of water draining from urban development
- Filtration of stormwater via well vegetated area
- Reduction in capital cost on pipe work and drains
- Reduction in construction cost on grading and tree clearing
- Lower cost of water quality improvement
- Fewer incidences of disruptions of power, transport, and communication
- International as well as national business operations will not be affected
- No damages to properties due to flooding
- Amenable urban and residential landscapes
- No loss of lives due to urban flooding
- Fewer incidences of epidemics during monsoon
- Greater area of public open space within the development