Water Sensitive Cities Australia – New research hub brings water knowledge to Western Australia

A new hub for water research and practice in Western Australia, was launched on 20 October 2021, with the WA Water Sensitive Transition Network and other local partners including the University of Western Australia, joining forces with the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI).

As part of MSDI, the Water Sensitive Cities Australia WA hub will ensure the latest science is applied to local water-focused projects and priorities, drawing on MSDI’s diverse and strong research capabilities, and experience in delivering practical research and tools to advance water sensitive cities (or waterwise cities, as referred to in WA).

It will provide a proven mechanism and enhanced capability for WA industry, local and State government, and researchers to keep collaborating and making waterwise practice mainstream. It is also an opportunity for MSDI to strengthen its links with water practitioners in Western Australia.

Water Sensitive Cities Australia was established at Monash University’s Monash Sustainable Development Institute to continue the mission of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, with Monash University having a long connection to water sensitive city research and practice.

Western Australia, particularly the State’s south-west, is one of the regions on the planet most impacted by climate change. With changing rainfall patterns and increasing intense weather events posing a real threat to the State’s precious water supplies, it is critical that we use water more efficiently and apply water-sensitive practices to all we do.

One of the WA Government’s priorities is to create waterwise cities and towns that are cool, liveable, green and sustainable – places where people want to live, work and spend their time. Our economic, social and environmental future is dependent on securing our water resources in the context of climate change.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities’ extensive body of research has demonstrated that waterwise cities practices and principles work. The next step is to make them the norm. This is now the mission of Water Sensitive Cities Australia and is being delivered through the Western Australian State Government’s Waterwise Perth Action Plan as well as many other projects and initiatives.

As well as driving Perth’s waterwise transition, the WA Water Sensitive Transition Network is part of a national network coordinated by Water Sensitive Cities Australia that is making waterwise practice part of everyday life.