Being ‘water sensitive’ means recognising that fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource. By applying a combination of water sensitive approaches within our buildings and open spaces, we can conserve drinking water while maintaining a green and healthy environment.

Water sensitive buildings and gardens

Water sensitive buildings and gardens incorporate the use of:

  • water-efficient fittings, fixtures and whitegoods
  • rainwater tanks, plumbed for uses such as clothes washing, toilet flushing and irrigation
  • permeable landscaping materials (such as mulch and gravel) that allow water to penetrate into the soil
  • grey water systems to supply water for irrigation and toilet flushing
  • drought-tolerant plants
  • water-efficient irrigation systems
  • raingardens and green roofs to slow down and filter run-off.

Visit Melbourne Water for guidance on making your home or development more water sensitive.

Water sensitive streetscapes and open spaces

Integrating water sensitive urban design (WSUD) principles into the management of streetscapes and open spaces includes:

  • constructing wetlands and raingardens that capture and treat stormwater before it enters our waterways
  • using locally harvested rainwater and stormwater for irrigating sportsfields, park vegetation and street trees
  • carefully designing landscaping to allow minor rain events to passively irrigate nearby trees and other vegetation.
Water Sensitive Urban Design


Benefits of being a water sensitive city

Working in partnership with our community, neighbouring municipalities and key agencies, such as Melbourne Water, we are contributing to Melbourne’s transition towards being a water sensitive city.

Community benefits over the longer term include:

  • water security for greener neighbourhoods
  • keeping canopy trees and other vegetation healthy, even in drier times
  • cleaner, less polluted waterways
  • improved liveability and amenity of our suburbs
  • a city more adapted and resilient to heatwaves and other weather extremes.

For more information about our journey to a water sensitive Boroondara, see our Integrated Water Management Strategy 2014-24.

Our raingardens and wetlands

With support from our implementation partners, like Melbourne Water, we have created a number of attractive and functional raingardens and wetlands across our municipality that are helping to reduce the impact of stormwater on our environment.

Lewin Reserve wetlands, the Grace Park raingarden and the recently completed Gordon Barnard Reserve raingarden are also supplying harvested water for irrigation of local parks and street trees.

Design of the Chandler Park wetlands in Kew is complete.

Click on the wave symbol to find out more about each project.

See environmentally sustainable guidelines for more information about the WSUD measures you need to consider when applying for a Planning Permit. Learn more about WSUD at Melbourne Water.

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