GOAL Respect the natural environment
Resource Use

OBJECTIVE — Create and establish a built form and city layout that minimises resource consumption, including water and energy use

Water use

Water resource management is a key issue for the ACT, with Think water, act water: a draft strategy for sustainable water resources management (2003) providing a framework for managing, using and conserving the water resources of the region. The Spatial Plan encourages a built form that minimises the consumption of water to assist in improving water resource management.

Policy response
  • Total growth in the ACT and surrounding NSW will be limited by the capacity to provide potable water.
  • Innovative ways to ensure an environmentally sustainable secure water supply to provide for the population growth associated with achieving sustainable economic wellbeing for Canberra will be adopted. A new source of potable water supply will be provided for the ACT when required and after consideration of alternatives.
  • The location, amount and rate of land released will be linked to availability of a sustainable new source of water supply.
  • Within greenfields development and urban renewal sites, appropriate water sensitive urban design principles will be adopted to ensure stormwater use, greywater reuse and effluent treatment and reuse.
  • Future greenfields development will incorporate water sensitive urban design principles.
  • The residential settlement strategy of the Spatial Plan reflects the broad direction for future water supply by containing urban growth and encouraging residential intensification.
  • Residential development will continue to occur only in locations that do not compromise the security of future water supply.
  • Stormwater and effluent reuse will be increased for existing and new urban areas.
  • Planning for an adequate new water supply will be undertaken with ACTEW in the context of an agreed regional water supply strategy.
  • To assist in the implementation of the Spatial Plan a Regional Management Framework will be developed to ensure cooperative management of critical issues. The ACT Government will also participate in the development of the Sydney-Canberra Corridor Strategy.
  • Amendments will be made to the sustainable development design guidelines to ensure new developments and redevelopments meet appropriate water sensitive urban design standards, including for:
  • the reduced consumption of potable water; and
  • the use of alternative water sources, including rainwater, greywater and treated effluent.
  • Education and partnership programs will encourage the incorporation of water sensitive urban design principles into existing developments.
  • Strategies will be developed to encourage retrofitting of existing dwellings, buildings and landscapes to encourage more effective water use.
  • Regulations requiring water efficiency measures will be considered.
  • Where it is economically sensible and suitable the use of water reclaimed from the sewerage system will be incorporated into developments as an alternative to potable water for non-potable uses.
  • Minimise water use.
  • Minimise the consumption of potable water for non-potable uses.
  • Provide secure water supply for the population of the ACT.
Monitoring indicators
  • The annual per capita potable water usage.
  • The annual total water usage in relation to sustainable yield.
  • Potable water used in public and private open space areas and gardens.
  • Amount of effluent and stormwater reuse.