Water Sensitive Urban Design

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Explore inspiring articles, discover events, connect with locals and learn more about Coffs Harbour City Council.

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Coffs Harbour has a fantastic and fascinating Botanic Garden and on May 26 it will be celebrating Botanic Gardens Day with a packed programme of events and workshops...

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Water Sensitive Urban Design

​​What is WSUD?

Water sensitive urban design (WSUD) is a multi-pronged approach to managing stormwater. It integrates land-use planning with water management. Using an holistic approach, WSUD aims to blend urban infrastructure with a site's natural features in a way that reduces negative impacts on the natural water cycle and protect the health of aquatic ecosystems.

WSUD Guideline

The impact of urbanisation on the water cycle and natural environment occurs as there is typically a large increase in impervious surfaces (eg roads, driveways, roofs). Stormwater which previously infiltrated the ground (vegetated areas) now collects and travels along the path of least resistance (traditional stormwater pipes and gutters) to a point of discharge (natural waterways). This increases flow rates and velocities pollutant levels and the frequency of run off events (as small rain events create more runoff which carries pollutants).

In order to protect and improve the quality of our waterways, Council has adopted WSUD to help manage these frequent, high polluting rainfall events that occur in our ever developing urban area.

Who does the guideline apply to?

WSUD applies to all developments of the following type;

  • Subdivision developments
  • Commercial Development
  • Industrial Development
  • Tourist Development
  • Public Buildings Single dwellings, dual occupancies, MUDs, alterations and additions

Where can I get information on the guideline?

Council advise that anyone lodging a development application to which WSUD applies read  the WSUD Guideline 2018.pdf    

FAWB Stormwater Biofiltration Systems Adoption Guidelines (2009)