WSUD survey results

1. Are you a lessee or a property developer?
Answer Options Response Count
Lessee 193
Property developer? 52
Previous lessee and/or property developer 17
Other (please specify) 76
Other (Question 1)
Tally Other comments
16 Consultant (eg. Design,Town Planner)
15 Resident/Owner
14 Architect
6 Engineer (eg. Civil, Design)
4 Builder
3 Building Designer
3 Designer
2 Project Manager in Govt
2 Owner Builder
2 Water reuse technology developer
2 Utilties company
1 Building Company
1 Renovator
1 ACT Government
1 Valuer
1 Building Surveyor
1 Government employee
2. Are you completing this survey as an individual or as a representative of an organisation?
Answer Options Response Count
Individual 275
Organisation 57
Other (please specify) 7
3. Would you like to be notified about the outcome of this survey?
Answer Options Response Count
Yes 177
No 150
4. Did you lodge a development application or a building application between 2010 and 2013? (you can provide multiple answers)
Answer Options Response Count
Yes - building application 144
Yes - development application 178
No (select and you will be redirected to Q.21) 65
Other (Question 5) 5. Have there been difficulties in getting developments approved because of the WSUD Code?
Answer Options Response Count
Yes 31
No 178
Unsure 35
Please provide comment 31
Comment number Other comments
1 Am applying for a fence.
2 In regards to secondary dwellings typically the total roof are will not increase by more than 50% and the WSUD requirement is not triggered when initially lodging the plans via eDevelopment. After lodgement and the initial check and payment of the fees I have been asked to provide WSUD compliance. This would often mean providing a large water tank to a small secondary dwelling where the roof cannot provide enough catchment area.
3 We have undertaken DA's for large (greater than 60ha) land developments for new suburbs. With this several multi unit and large commercial/community blocks are created. WSUD is provided for the whole estate/suburb yet the individual codes for multi units, commercial and community facilities requires these blocks to also provide WSUD. This becomes a large cost impost on them particularly the stormwater retention component. These codes need to be amended to recognise that in new estates/suburbs a holistic approach has been adopted across the entire estate.
4 Not sure if it relates to the WSUD code, but ACTEW internal processes are THE MOST disorganized and appalling low service operators I have ever dealt with. It is a JOKE. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.
5 The TAMs design standards are not aligned with the intent of the WSUD code.
7 My application was for construction of a car port
8 There were some difficulties in getting the required water efficiency as the model required that there be a reduction in the existing dwelling as well as the new dwelling. I consider it intrinstrically unfair that I was required to get an increased efficiency from the existing structure and land in order to get an overall approval. I have no problems in a requirement that new dwellings meet the standard if they are fully independent of the existing structure.
9 Other elements of the DA and BA process have caused headaches. WSUD however has always been reasonably straight forward.
10 What is a WSUD ? Please don't use code words, spell it out !
11 There were difficulties with approval, though I'm not quite sure whether they were because of the WSUD Code specifically.
12 After we had put in the work to request the development approval including paying for a survey of our block the rules were changed so that we did not need an approval.
13 You are stuffing around. Run off ends up in rivers it would be more cost effective to have settlement ponds/wetlands at end of stormwater system before entering lakes or rivers
14 Deliberately left water tanks off DA because current policy was too restrictive
15 Still under evaluation
16 The WSUD code is another usless document that does not contribute to the quality of any build outcome. Documents like this and others only waste time, resouces and money.
17 For sites in new developments, some WSUD elements for them have been covered by the overall development. However, these were required again as the development code does not distinguish between new sites and redevelopment sites.
18 We design and buuild home extensions. There have been occasions when the WSUD requirements have escallated costs for our clients very significantly as retrofitting is vastly more expensive than new building work. Existing conditions such as landscaping and the footprint of an existing building compromise flexibility very often. Lattitude should be provided under such circumstances in order to move productively towards the WSUD objectives. Should we fail (due to cost) to do any work then nothing in respect of WSUD is achieved anyway.
19 The WSUD calculator which our hydraulic consultants use to provide the WSUD outcomes is very rigid. We have concerns that it is not flexible enough to provide a real indication of the water usage reduction of a particular development. However, we have made changes to our proposals to ensure compliance so that an approval can be obtained.
20 I don't know, it took a little bit of time to get our water on,
21 On site water detention provisions should be reviewed and revised. It should be based on site's location, size and context rather than land use policy that applies.
22 The difficulty lies in the onerous requirements and commitments that the clients and developers need to make

There has been some ambiguity as to the applicability of the code on redevelopment sites, particularly where areas of road are being developed or re-developed.

In brownfield sites it is sometimes hard to meet the standards and it is unreasonable in some instances as there are treatments provided further downstream.

24 It was done through the builder
25 I didn't know there was a WSUD code.
26 Meeting the Code requirements has not been a problem.. However, technical analysis of the code content indicates many of the rquirements are a nonsense and simply add unwarranted cost to residential construction without achieving the aims of the policy behind the code. This is particularly important with respect to affordability of new dwellings.
27 Due to size of proposed structure our customer has to hook up water tank to external taps and laundry & toilet
28 Took 3 months to get a deck approved. Nothing more than wood structure.
29 Initially, it was thought the development would be impacted by potential floods from overloaded sewage mains- this turned out not to be the case.
30 I had many difficulties because the officials I sent the information to kept changing the goal posts and basically screwed me around.
31 Code applied in an uneven way. Some rejections despite design in accordance with code.
6. What year did you lodge the application/s?
Answer Options Response Count
2010 80
2011 67
2012 68
2013 60
Other (please specify) 3
Other (Question 6)
Comment number Other comments
1 building designer so plans are lodged frequently
2 2009
3 development application lodged 2009
7. What type of development was it?
Answer Options Response Count
Single residential 120
Multi-unit residential 34
Commercial 20
Industrial 13
Institutional 13
Other (please specify) 25
Other (Question 7)
Tally Other comments
9 Extension (including garages, carport)
5 Residential Estate (including EDP and land subdivision and infrastructure)
2 Road (including fire trail)
2 Swimming Pool (including installation or removal)
2 second dwelling "granny style flat" 
1 Major Utility Installation
1 Schools externals works
1 Lights towers for incorporated tennis club
1 Community Facility - CIC Stage 2 Development in Monash
1 Primary School
8. What was the size of the block?
Answer Options Response Count
less than 2,000 square metres 137
greater than 2,000 square metres 43
9. Was your application lodged in the CODE or MERIT path?
Answer Options Response Count
10. How did you find the CODE path?
Answer Options Response Count
Restrictive 22
Thorough 28
Not thorough enough 1
Limited 5
Unsure 41
Please provide comment 22
Other (Question 10)
Tally Other comments
8 Cannot remember or unsure
2 Done through a consultant
1 Experience with CODE path is with single residential application. Rooflines on single houses often require onerous levels of drainage to ensure catchment is sufficient. The impact is not on the application, but rather on the client as a financial impost.
1 Fairly straight forward....however the Private Certifiier route is complicated by the arbitary freedom and sometimes pedantic behaviour of the individual certifier
1 didnt use it
1 ok

the rules for water tank size should be either:

based onthe block size or completing the 40% water reduction spreadsheet

It should be stated as a RULE that the water tank size is based on the block size as is the RULE now or that the 40% water reduction spreadsheet can be used as also as a RULE . To submit plans down the merit path just because you are using the 40% water reduction spreadsheet is stupid & a waste of time. They both save water & the water reduction spreadsheet is actually a very good way to go as owners can see by selecting star rating & energy efficient fixtures/fitting, etc the actual water reduction

 calculation is see before there eyes as they enter the information.


multiple agencies

significant time delays in assessment

1 Extension approval sought DA for carport within stormwater easment, but provided nil opprtunity for consultation with TAMS who initially rejected, but have now approved the Building Design. Result is two submissions two costs and as yet nil DA because protocol does not permit revisit of the application. TAMS and I are stumped...
1 Satisfactory
1 I was personally involved in the application
1 We went down the CODE path because our dwelling was outside the parameters for building approval. No real issues.
1 No assessment of 'water' was evident
1 it was exempt
11. How did you find the MERIT path?
Answer Options Response Count
Restrictive 27
Thorough 52
Not thorough enough 2
Limited 7
Unsure 32
Please provide comment 31
Other (Question 11)
Comment number Other comments
1 Yes
2 Don t know the difference, items the only one we used
3 Easy to follow and ACTPLA personnel were helpful and informative
4 The Development Assessment team at ACTPLA were of limited assistance in confirmation of information for submissions. They had a check list of what was required based on a guideline of what agencies thought they wanted for a standard DA and they would not proceed with the DA application unless everything on that check list was ticked off regardless of how trivial it may have been. The development Assessment team needs to consider a DA amendment may not need everything that the original DA needed and that they should seek confirmation from the relevant agency if 'standard' information is needed rather than them making an uninformed or unskilled decision of an area which they have limited or no professional knowledge.
5 The DA system is very 'building' focussed and fails to contemplate alternate developments such as transmission line works or substation developments/upgrades. Additionally the conditions of approval relating to such developments have often lacked real consideration as to the type of development and associated risks. requirements such as Verge Management Plans for works that involve no works near verges and have no risks associated with the Plan are onerous, innefficent and prpvode no benefit to any party.
6 The IT submission form was restricted - The development was on a road reserve (not a block) so we had to nominate a nearby block. Many questions were not really applicanbe to the development but we could not move forward through the form without selecting a response.
7 Experience with MERIT path is with multi-res applications. hydraulic consultants have always seemingly found achieving compliance with WSUD relatively easy with no impost on design or construction outcome. This could be due to often providing basement car parking and more extensive drainage solutions. Unlike single res, multi-res developments are already geared for extensive drainage.
8 NA
9 Too board which intented to cover everything, but I found it very hard to follow. In addition, it is very subjective. Luckily I had a very useful Land Development officer to help me to get through without paying for a professional helper!
10 However, did not know about the need to save 40% water until I was entering the application on-line and that's when I found that I must put in a water tank and connect to toilet flush - using the spreadsheet was very useful because it showed me how to reach the 40% goal
11 Not sure whether it was the CODE or the MERIT path.
12 Laborious to complete, with at times considerable uncertainty as to how to address the points
13 Excessive for what should have been a straightforward residential DA in Uriarra Village
14 left water tanks off because we wanted to only use them for the garden
15 Sometimes overly time consuming when the premis for the work was ultimately acepted anyway.
16 ok
17 Satisfactory
18 Though is hasnt been passed yet im assuming we will have issues even though its for a minor retaining wall.
19 The code was clear to follow but quite complicated and it was not helped by the ACTPLA staff being unable to understand some of the abbreviations on a plan previously approved by them.

No building supplier understands AS2700

No Gov person understands L.a.b, RGB or RAL

So colour based approval delays are subjective and time wasting

21 No assessment of 'water' was evident
22 Appalling, it cost a million of dollars for no good reason
23 Unclear whether the response is sought in terms of the WSUD code or the merit path. Overall I found the entire ACTPLA development process pretty dodgy. It seems that criterion that should be assessed by the authority are ignored unless another resident objects to them. The information supplied to other residents is opaque - and the building certification process is an utter failure.

Delays caused by neighbours registering comments that were positive toward the development however this caused an auotmatic delay by ACTPLA to process the information - positive or negative!

if its positive, why does this trigger the need to process?

Too much red tape.

12. Were you aware that the development or building application required you to adhere to the WSUD Code?
Answer Options Response Count
Yes 102
No 48
Unsure 14
Please provide comment? 9
Other (Question 12)
Comment number Other comments
1 As the total roof area was not increased by more than 50% the WSUD was not triggered on the form and actually cannot be overridden.
2 Not aware that plumbing had to be made so that tank water could be used. Plumber did not inform me of this until after the plumbing trtenches had been filled and after it wopuld have been cost effective to use tank water (available for the garden and connected to the main residence).
3 It has become a considered part of approvals for all projects
4 No what is a WSUD ?
5 Being owner builder, I do not immediately know what WSUD mean? OK, Water Sensitive Urban Design - as I wrote above, I did not know about WSUD until I started filling the Development Application. My builder, whom I hired to help me through the process, did not tell me about WSUD.
6 all I have ever filled in is the WSUD calculator- I only do residential projects
7 Our hydraulic consultant advised us of the new requirements only after engagement. As a member of industry we had no notice of the changed requirements.
8 as above
9 But not relevant
13. WSUD Code requirements have a small effect on the cost of development?
Answer Options Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Other comments Response Count
Do you agree? 15 72 32 16 37 135
Other (Question 13)
Tally Other comments
14 Unsure/Didn't know it existed
3 No view as it was a small extension
1 WSUD at an suburb/estate level has significant cost. However, this is the most appropriate level for it to be applied in relation to PNK control and stormwater retention and that cost can be shared across an entire suburb.
1 The cost was unavoidable so why bother asking.
1 Unable to comment as WSUD not relevant to my development.
1 For existing building, when extending, placement of water tank requires extensive piping, adding suitable water pump motor, water controller to manage dry spells, etc.
1 All additional administration and front end loading of the building process never reduces costs. Always effort seems to be on the design side, why not improve the quality of builders?
1 $around $3000 to install water tanks and to be connected to toilets and washing machine
1 My DA was not affected
1 Requirements that amount to a cost, to adhere to.
1 really depends. In ground tanks are not cheap.
1 The potential costs could be considerable. In our case, this did not occur, but more from good fortune than good planning
1 Water in Uriarra Village requires larg amounts of potable water
1 Combining the cost of the rainwater tank, ground preparation, installation, connectivity to toilets and laundry and correct overflow drainage adds up to significantly greater than a small effect.
1 As explained earlier when WSUD is obligatory for home extensions the implications are to retrofit rather than to build new. Often this is extremely complex and restrictive.
1 depends on the size of the project.
1 The usual methodologies we consider for water savings in multi-unit residential are either water reuse (which requires multiple plumbing systems and is prohibitively costly ) and/or the provision of water saving appliances such as washing machines. Washing machines are ordinarily not provided but are less costly than water reuse so are preferred. However, we receive multiple requests to delete the washing machine as downsizers and investors do not require washing machines - they or their tenants provide their own. We are concerned this produces huge wastage in the appliances, whether new appliances or old appliances are discarded before the end of their economic life.
1 WSUD Codes are important and should stay. The provisions can definitely be improved/adjusted.
1 Careful how you word your questions. If I disagree with this statement I am effectively saying that I think that the code does not have a small effed on the cost of development. This could mean that I think is has absolutely no effect, or it could mean that I think it has an enormous effect.
1 Well, judgin by the next question, this is the set of rules that limits the showers etc I can have. So they reduce your choice, which can cost more.
1 The life cycle maintenance and energy cost for internal reuse water equipment is wasteful and makes no difference to the total ecology water balance, of the Murray Darling Basin.
1 WSUD requirements for land subdivisions involve signifcant additional expense and do not always achieve the intended outcomes, especially when WSUD infrastructure provided is not properly maintained by the asset owner TAMS.
14. The WSUD Code requires water saving plumbing fixtures.
Answer Options Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Other comments Response Count
Do you believe water saving plumbing fixtures reduce water consumption? 40 88 21 9 25 158
Other (Question 14)
Tally Other comments
2 Unsure
1 the code set reasonable usage standards against fixtures
1 I wasn't required to plumb up the rain water tanks just have it there. Should force developer to go further
1 On-going maintenance and operational costs are supported by the WSUD code in landscaping and water management issues.
1 Most fixtures now provide WELS statements in excess of the requirements.
1 No. I still shower to get clean and get frustrated with the poor standard of shower roses that mal-function. I still fill up the bath to the same level. I get frustrated with a low flush toilet that fails to flush the I press it again. I still fill up the sink to wash up dishes. I still water the garden. The only real savings come from choosing washing and dishwashing machines that have very low water consumption, getting rid of lawns, changing the type of vegetation in the garden etc etc (none of these related to plumbing rules ). Low flush toilets also result in more blockages and more damage to the sewers caused by higher concentrations of waste.
1 Depends on users as well
1 If they give people a way to use the fixtures the same amount, then sure, but if people just use the fixtures more often then there's no change. For example a water saving shower head will use less water over the same 5 minute period, but if you then extend your shower out to 10 minutes because of your perception of poorer quality output, nothing has been gained.
1 Our old shower heads passed less water. You still fill the bath to the same level it just takes longer and wastes additional heat while waiting.
1 Yes, but the costs could greatly outweigh the benefits gained
1 You need to run tap water for longer to get hot water.
1 You need to flush multiple times to flush away contents from toilet.
1 We were able to reduce our water consumption by over 50% in twelve months just by adopting commonsense usage practices - running dishwasher when its full, showering for 4-5 mins per person, upgrading frontload washing machine/ upgrading dishwasher to 5 stars and little things like fixing leaking taps as soon as they start to drip. Note we also added a new second toilet in this period.
1 The water saving plumbing requirements of the Code have now become the 'standard' plumbing fixtures.
1 There does not appear to be any significant weight given to water saving taps. The focus appears to be on water saving shower heads. We believe there should be a greater weight given to all plumbing fixtures, not just selected ones.
1 fixture use is only as efficient as the persons using them (ie external taps not turned off completely or maintained ie washer replacement)
1 Minimal difference in overall water consumption
1 God No!! They mean you have to turn the shower or tap on full bore all the time instead of only turning it on as far as you need. I also never use the half flush on the loo as it doesn't do the job properly.
1 My concern is that while green water outlets were installed in the wet areas, this code did not make it compulsory for the builder to install water tanks. Consequently, retrofitting tanks was hindered by the building already being erected. We had to find tanks of a size and shape that could be fitted to the available space, substantially reducing the volume of rainwater collected.
1 They have no effect on the Murray Darling water balance.
1 Minimal Impact
1 Minimal benefit
1 Most do however our feedback on some of the small toilet cisterns actually require a double flush so they are actually using more water than expected.
1 In some cases it does reduce consumption (for example toilet cisterns) In others i don't believe it does (for example pressure limiters which mean you have to run a tap for longer to get a sink full of water).
15. The WSUD Code requires rainwater tanks for new buildings or redevelopments on blocks over 250m2 (since February 2013) and 300 m2 (for previous applications). Do you support this requirement?
Answer Options Response Count
Yes 109
No 40
Unsure 17
Other (please specify) 27
Other (Question 15)
Comment number Other comments
1 Uncertain whether there has been a clear cost benefit analysis of this aspect of the WSUD code, within the context of anticipated climate change.
2 While I agree that water tanks are a good idea the regulations around them would need to be relaxed more to allow them closer to boundaries otherwise they would not fit on small blocks
3 sustainability was a major focus of our renovation - well over and above any requirements. Including large rainwater storage was a commitment we would have made even if it weren't a requirement.
4 I installed a 15,000 litre tank in 2009, after I moved into the house.
5 should only be required for blocks over 450m2 especially when you consider the cost and the value of water in the tank and what it is actually used for, should be optional for those that have a high demand for water use and not an expensive requirement for everyone
6 Single residential developments are adversely affected by water tanks in their amenity and visual appearance. Better ways of achieving lower water usage would be allowing denser development, thus diminshing unuseable strips of landscape. Row and terrace housing would provide for courtyard houses that have lower landscaping needs. Also, encouraging or requiring drought resistant planting would alleviate water issues.
7 Should laos encourage R/W tanks for existing areas.
8 No. It is an inefficient use of $. The utility can process water cheaper than any rain water tank expenditure....get the utility to recycle water. Most roofs cannot supply a year's supply. Most tanks run dry in the hot weather....then need continuous top up from the utility network. Most urban tanks are not cleaned and are not fit for drinking. The failure of neighbours to connect the overflow on their rainwater tank to the stormwater system has resulted in overland flooding of neighbours and significant degradation of neighbour friendships and cooperation.
9 Maybe if it is only for blocks over 1000m2 that WSUD applies. Typically, on a small block, extension goes to second storey. On a larger block, extension takes more ground area making it difficult to place water tank, especially if block is sloping wrong way. I think that WSUD should apply to redevelopment where old is replaced with new, but when adding an extension and original building remains 90% the same, then insisting on water tank and the costs of plumbing put extra economical burden.
10 I think it is a waste of resources to ask individual homes to put in rain water tanks - only the rich can afford this. individual tanks cost more in $ and resources than a central collection system.
11 Water that would go into our stormwater system is being stored in a tank. This does not seem a useful way to reduce water consumption or the environment.
12 The water in the tank isn't being used.
13 Although useful size tanks are bigger than practical
14 I suggest that the cost of water tanks en masse for the population would exceed the cost of such a system provided for the whole population via ACTEW
15 All residents should use a rainwater tank. Varying the size of the tank to accommodate smaller blocks would make this viable.
16 Unless you get the rainfall - watertanks are not going to provide any savings. Additionally only large scale tanks 10-20,000 litres or more are going to be viable in times of severe drought. It is much more costeffective to put your money into more water efficient devices than making rainwater tanks mandatory and having to plumb them in to the house.
17 Depends on the circumstances when working on established homes and gardens. Should underground storage be the only logical option the return on investment is certainly questionable. "Horses for courses!"
18 They are useful if used properly. In most cases they are not used the way they are meant to or were approved. Private certifiers need to ensure strict compliance for it to work.
19 I have a water tank by choice, but they have negatives, such as taking up space, requiring electricity for the pumps, etc and they never hold enough water (I only had space for 20,000l )
20 For outdoor use only

I do for irrigation but when it cannot be used to drinking this is ridiculous, as a large number of houses in country towns use rainwater for drinking, why can't it be used in the ACT?

I feel if the government wants to charge people for the dam infrastructure, etc. and therefore shouldn't make tank a requirement but give tax exemptions or reductions in water rates, etc. to encourage people to make the choice rather than 'just comply' with a standard as when tanks are installed to 'comply' they are not fully integrated into the building and really just become a maintenance issue.

22 We're having a bloody great big dam built so why do we need water tanks?
23 Mandatory requirement for rainwater tanks is a "one size fits all" approach, and is not relevant in many cases.
24 Rainwater tanks collect very little water and are an expensive piece of infrastructure. The use of plastics in the construction of rainwater tanks potentially outweighs the benefits.
25 Think it should be based on the size of the development, not the block size.
26 That block size is too small. On larger blocks say 800m2, yes!
16. Rainwater tanks and water consumption
Answer Options Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Other comments Response Count
Do you think rainwater tanks help reduce water consumption? 40 75 33 13 43 161
Other (Question 16)
Comment number Other comments
1 People will prefer to use the same amount of water irrespective of the source.
2 Main's water consumption possibly, but not water consumption per se.
3 we have 2
4 Noit yet in a postition to make an informed comment
5 The reduction is limited as the tank sizes are relatively small but have to be as the block sizes are not large enough to accomodate the house and a larger tank. When we need water for our garden in summer it is when the rainfall is less.
6 Unable to comment
7 However, in dry times we invariably fall back on mains water. Last summer I tried to use tank water efficiently on the garden, though drained the tank before the end of the dry spell.
8 They reduce mains supply requirements - with my tank system I use more water than before but less water from the mains.
9 The code allows for this provision if connected to toilets and urinals - however there is no way to specify how many toilets / occupants using toilets etc. For commercial perhaps this should be based on the number of bathrooms / floor area.
10 badly worded question, of cause they reduce main water use but by how much, personally my tanks are an expensive water diversion system as water is only used in toilets and washing as we have a garden that requires no water
11 As a non-potable source, the water can only be used for landscape or washing uses. People are now established in their low usage of water for landscaping. Drought tolerant planting would do more to alleviate water use.
12 See notes above. They may assist, but not in a cost efficient way
13 Only if used properly.
14 If there are gardens they definitely do
15 Depends what the rain water is tasked to. It's MUCH less about the infrastructure and MUCH more about the attitude of the user.
16 Doesn't necessarily reduce consumption, rather there is less reliance on mains water.
17 The water in the tank isn't being used.
18 They can if they are connected and in use.
19 The savings in water consumption would most likely not warrant the expense involved
20 Supplying rainwater to laundry and toilets is beneficial. An external tap for watering the garden and washing car, etc, would also provide great savings.
21 They dont change consumption patterns - in fact they are more likely to encourage people to waste water
22 They are not used as much now we don't have water restrictions. Many are just overflowing into the stormwater drain
23 My House uses rain water for everything but flushing toilets and outdoor water and have a water bill of roughly $12.00
24 If they are plumbed to toilets...I think consuers are lazy about using it for the gardens unless it is plumbed in
25 only if you attach them to whole house including showers and design them so water quality is maintained. If you just put on the garden I disagree.
26 The two systems, town and tank, are not restricted to one or the other, they are both usable at anytime while supply is available.
27 Not in our own developments, but we are aware that the presence of rainwater tanks do not necessarily mean that roofing systems direct water to the tanks adequately. Particularly in single dwellings, the presence of a rainwater tank or not appears to be the requirement, which does not guarantee reduction in water consumption.
28 minimal volumes that are operational only during periods of sustained rain/ shower events. Limited volumes mean dependance on them cannot be made for dedicated uses (ie multiple laundry washes, toilet use etc)
29 not to extent expected though
30 Not really - because people are not using them properly - like use in laundry or toilet flushing, etc.
31 They increase the tendency to use water for irrigation. Where tanks are topped up from Town water when they run out they dont change occupant usage. They do slightly reduce the demand on water supply but most tanks are too small to have much impact.
32 Reduction of mains supplied water only. We need to examine total water consumption and how to reduce. Not simply put a cost impost on new homes and extensions to reduce the water uasage from the mains.
33 In many cases I think that they just mean people use more water on their garden.
34 The rain in Canberra is at the wrong time of year. So your tank is empty in summer when you need to water the garden, but full in winter when you don't need it.
35 I agree that a water tank requirement is good however the size of the water tank is too small.
36 Reduces potable water consumption
37 With rainwater tanks people water their gardens, without they sit in the dirt
38 Consumption may go up as it can come from ones own tanks
39 Less water from Utility provider. Potentially more water overall (as tank use during drought can continue)
40 We built in significant storage in the from of rainwater tanks. Every gutter is connected to these tanks
41 Desired result is achieved only with coopertaion of end users.
42 Yes, but only by a small amount, as they are usually backed up by mains water.
43 It may, but the effect is probably negligible in terms of overall consumption.
17. Did you install a greywater recycling system?
Answer Options Response Count
Yes 20
No 143
Please provide comment 33
Other (Question 17)
Tally Other comments
13 Too costly, expensive
1 Depended on the development
1 Not relevant to my application
1 Too hard to retro-fit. Would have loved to have done it.
1 we installed a vast rainwater tank under the new section, and considered also doing greywater but they need constant maintenance which we can't always do. We are able to add it on in the future.
1 Perhaps I will do that.
1 Once. In 2008 in a single residence.
1 On the assuption that I would need to top up in summer anyway.
1 Decided it would not significantly improve water consumption
1 I looked at it. I WANTED to do it very much, but none of the available systems presented as reliable and high quality enough. The grey water recycling systems I looked into would be permanently fixed into the infrastructure (slab etc) and would "work ok most of the time"... according to marketing materials. I'd be looking for something far more robust and reliable, given the cost involved.
1 Retro-fitting such a system to a house built on a concrete slab could well be excessive
1 I capture grey water for the purpose of watering the front and back lawns.
1 There are health risks with using greywater
1 Grey water recyclking for environment centre to irrigate orchard within schoool grounds
1 not often
1 Concerned about maintenance - while we can put in a system should we wish I am not convinced as a busy homeowner I have the skills/patience to maintain properly.
1 Sub-soil requirement means the system will block
1 greywater systems are entropic.
1 It's a lot of effort to hook up the water tank to the laundry and toilet when we're installed a shed/garage
1 But used hose to divert laundry water onto back garden (not vegies).
1 Not relevant to my projects
18. If so, how would you rate the grey water systems performance?
Answer Options Very good Good Poor Very poor Unsure Other comments Response Count
Please rate its performance 3 11 13 5 18 15 50
Other (Question 18)
Tally Other comments
6 NA/Not applicable
1 Not sure of the performance really because i am not using it!!
1 Only should be put in for the right sort of people. Require a lot of maintenance and effort to move hoses around garden to maintain soil and plant quality. Should not be considered a consumer item that you install and looks after itself. I am talking diversion systems. Don't believe that treatment systems are the right approach.
1 The jury is still out on its effectiveness and marketability on a cost basis.
1 the properties are tenanted, don't monitor the water bills -Housing may need to monitor the water bill paid for the new developments in future
1 There are too many problems with greywater to make it viable in a domestic urban environment
1 This water contains particulates which can reduce the life of fixtures
19. Apart from the required WSUD requirements, did your development include any other WSUD features?
Answer Options Response Count
Rain gardens 22
Swales 25
Pervious pavement 31
Tree pits 15
Detention ponds 19
Other (please specify) 26
Other (Question 19)
Tally Other comments
11 No
6 none of the above
1 Wicking bed
1 Water runoff, ground water buildup needs to go somewhere & swales, rain gardens, etc can lead to overflow/discharge into neighbour's blocks if there is not a storm water sump pits to collect surplus water from entering other properties. I have not seen large sumps installed at the low end of yard to collect the surplus.
1 Underfloor chamber creation for future installation of additional potable WaterCell rainwater harvesting bladders.
1 Rainwater to the whole house.
1 None, other than runoff from the roof of the carport to downpipes.
1 Large size tanks with swales and pervious pavements had to be proposed to address detention requirements for the CIC Stage 2 development. It will add to the cost. Considering the site (size, location and context) the requirements were a bit onerous. The provisions were based on land use and not on site and context which is wrong.
1 I have a fish pond - does that count? I also made most of my paths out of pavers in pebble beds - I guess that is pervious pavement?
1 gross pollutant traps, filtration drains.
1 Again, I was having a fence built.
20. If so, how would you rate their performance?
Answer Options Very good Good Poor Very poor Unsure Response Count
Rain gardens 3 17 4 0 9 33
Swales 5 15 6 0 7 33
Pervious pavement 1 19 7 1 9 37
Tree pits 2 11 4 0 7 24
Detention ponds 4 11 4 3 9 31
Other (please specify) 15
Other (Question 20)
Tally Other comments
9 N/A or Not applicable
1 The performance of swales is limited in the clayey soils of the ACT which do not readily permit high infiltration.
1 The performance of rain gardens, tree pits and ponds will ultimately depend on the long term maintenance provided by the ACT Government and the understanding of its staff as to what they do.
1 Most cases great with underground tanks that are incorporated into a properly designed system. Above ground tanks good when they take water directly from one down pipe only. Lots of trouble with above ground tanks that utilise wet systems.
1 Not sure what the large rain water tanks will do when we install them for the CIC project.
1 Pebbles as a mulch and path material are hard to keep clean - I spend ages picking every weed and leaf out.
1 Fair
1 They don't go well with fences.
21. How important is Water Sensitive Urban Design to you?
Answer Options Response Count
Not Important 11
Neither Important nor Unimportant 35
Important 94
Very Important 42
Extremely Important 36
Other (please specify) 14
Other (Question 21)
Comment number Other comments
1 We need to think of the future and not design or allow to be design anything that can lead to any future problems eg pollution of our lakes
2 Given the wasteful use of water here in our capital - where we should be setting an example to the rest of Australia - and noting the massive issues that exist in South Australia - that our wastefulness contributes to - I am disgusted that we do not have much stricter was saving requirements and higher water costs.
3 We need to consider the affect our urban development has on the environment and not make it worst.

WSUD elements within a suburb can be used to enhance the aesthetics if done and maintained well

4 should be determined by an individuals personal requirements, if you are going to use a lot of non drinking water it is advisable to do something about it, if you are low usage you are penalised financially to install systems that are expensive with limited use
5 I agree with the concept, but I believe there should be opportunity for more ongoing consultation as part of an evolutionary process.
6 I enjoy the fact I am saving a lot of water.
7 WSUD in both the public and private realm, offers the most effective means of achieving an appropriate amount of access to water for vegetated areas in an aesthetically & visually positive way.The fact that WSUD can be incorporated into streetscape and park design is integral to the success of our urban developments new and old and to utilise water resources wisely.
8 I have no issue mandating water saving fittings to development. I have issues with the effort involved in preparing DA's / BA's.
9 BUT ... it is all about moving in the right direction and not demanding compliance when it is practically impossible to achieve all requirements at a reasonable cost. Of course I am referring to the circumstances when dealing with home extensions. For examplewhen a 100m2 home is extended by 50.5m2 for a modest total of 150.5ms residence ... hardly luxurious in today's terms.
10 But we need to do it properly so that it makes a difference.
11 The concepts of WSUD are good, but some of the specified requirements or deemed to comply solutions are a nonsense. eg Water tanks to private housing are generally fitted with a water switch and pressure pump, and the occupant does not know whether or not water comes from the tank or the mains. Hence, no encouragement to reduce actual water usage. The ICRC report on water clearly demonstrates the cost of water from tanks is prohibitive compared to community based mains water by a multiple of approx. 5!!
12 I care deeply about storm water management as we had a drainage problem and it was unpleasant. I don't think you should legislate beyond basic rules to prevent other peoples storm runoff getting into my yard.
13 In the context of the total Murray Darling Catchment
14 I can't comment because you haven't actually explained what it is.
22. How do you see Water Sensitive Urban Design into the future?
Answer Options Response Count
Extremely important (please go to Q23) 51
Very important (please go to Q23) 55
Important (please go to Q23) 85
Not so important 18
Not important 6
Unsure 1
Other (please specify) 5
Other (Question 22)
Comment number Other comments
1 not a government issue
2 I chose above so that I do not have to answer Q23
3 Cotter Dam is now big enough to cover us for these needs.
4 Storm Water management is really important oin an urban setting
5 Storm water may have to be considered further
23. If Water Sensitive Urban Design is important to you, please indicate what aspects of the code you support.
Answer Options Water saving Climate change Biodiversity Water quality Storm water management Response Count
Extremely important 42 29 10 34 38 153
Very important 31 21 21 35 31 139
Important 31 22 22 26 35 136
Other (please specify) 22
Other (Question 23)
Comment number Other comments
1 Do you mean the current code? Note - this question only allows you to tick one box per importancy rating so cannot rate all aspects
2 All of the above are extremely important
3 All the above
4 ALL! (this layout does not allow more than one tick).
5 It worries me when I see rubbish in gutters which can wash into storm drains and cause blockages during times of heary downpour. It also worries me when I see people using water to water lawns, wash cars and paving, etc in dry times.
6 where is the "not important" button
7 What about options for "not important", "not relevant" or "no comment"
8 I would have said al aspects were important, but the survey only allowed me to identify one aspect.
9 All the above are very important but the menu won't let me choose them all.
10 This question does not appear to function properly; I can only get one response at any level of importance. I am also unaware of the details of WSUD
11 All of the above are very important but I couldn't tick all the boxes at the same time.I also believe that WSUD offers a new design paradigm for future urban developments especially where block sizes are small and access to natural settings is limited
12 My building was only a carport & pergola. No need for any tanks. While I know there wld be.a great cost impost on govt, I wld like to see all homes receive govt subsidised rainwater tanks.
13 Please note all are important howvere believe your question has not been setup corectly.
14 all very important
15 They are all important to very important. Water saving, quality & s/w very important
16 I think this table is sideways.
17 This table doesnt appear to work - wont let you select
18 All of the above headings are important but survey monkey does not allow to rate all of them
19 The survey does not work properly for this question.
20 I am not familiar with the code - and I suspect you need to swap the axes for this
21 All. Was not able to check correct boxes.
22 this question is set up wrong. It only allows you to select one thing as extremely important, but I could nominate Climate change is 'extremely important', 'very important' and 'important'
24. Is there any other comments you would like to make about the Water Sensitive Urban Design Code?
Response Count
Other (Question 24)
Comment number Other comments about the WSUD code
1 Mostly irrelevant now that a new dam is in place.
2 More emphasis should go into cost per litre of water used on our bills - that way we will use less!!! It is common sense and the only reason that government does not apply this is because it is weak. I would love to see what South Australians would say if they came here to see how much we pay for and yet waste our water. We think we're good at saving water but we are no where near what we should.
3 It is ridiculous to bring in restrictions on water, encourage better use of water, and then for ACTEW to put up to the cost of water with the reason given that we are using less water. This is not belittling the code, but it is extremely frustrating that when individuals try to do the right thing we pay more.
4 Yesterdays standards for waste water re-use are being applied to today needs and requirements and that is not acceptable.

The ACT water plan should incorporate:

1. Develop a more comprehensive system of wetlands and urban water reserves - through improved land management practices for Canberra's reserves, public spaces and parks - e.g. planted swales and berms that keep water in situ, filter reduced runoff and add to the biodiversity of the area.

2. Increased planning for tree plantings, as tree canopy creates a micro-climate and contributes to atmospheric water levels to create rainfall. Recognise and plan to maximise the different properties of native/introduced species to contribute shade, wind protection and evaporation.

3. Strategies to encourage residential capture of rainwater and in situ run-off treatment - water tanks, grey water systems and downpipe to garden diversion.

3. Development (particularly for larger structures) to incorporate modern water capture and re-use plans in buildings, infrastructure and open space designs. (Green canyon buildings, shared use zones and dual purpose designs for roads and pathways to ensure water capture, storage and recycling).

4. Recognise the value add to the city and region of a modern green, water sensitive urban environment.

6 Please STOP the building of McMansions, or at least limit the number in each street. The run-off to storm water is not consistent with good planning practice. Especially on Jansz Crescent in Griffith where flooding has been a problem in the past. thank you.
7 So far it is little more than glorified farm dams. It is good to see effort and resources being allocated to water however.

I believe the code works well although the short comings come in two different phases:

- no one is checking the results that are submitted with the drawings. there should be a requirement to submit DRAINS/MUSIC etc data and results to prove that the engineer isnt just fudging the numbers

- the private certifiers arent caring that specified WSUD features are not on site at final handover. ive seen many case where rainwater tanks are not onsite even though the drawings have specified them.


It is important to set water consumption targets. If these are too high we could run out of water and we would not comply with the MDB agreement. If they are too low the sewerage system may clog up due to lack of through put.

The design code must be structured between these two limits.

We should also use enough water to maintain our urban forest, our playing fields and parks and also our gardens.

Water quality in our lakes should be such that they can be used all the year round.

10 While water saving is a good idea customers should not be penalised for using less water with higher usage rates just to maintain income. You cannot have it both ways.
11 If we sell water to grow rice in the australian desert lets not pretend the government has any sensible view and thus it should not be involved in any decision making.

I tried to find the code to understand be able to answer this properly, but the link does not work - it was in garbled code with only some points in real English!

Please provide a link to explain all the points in q.23.

There is mention above of biodiversity yet I couldn't find the detail. In addition to the obvious water savings and quality, I would STRONGLY support any moves to increase/improve biodiversity with rich use of structurally diverse endemic plants in all raingardens, and along all waterways, including existing ones which are currently bare or eroded. Conserving and providing wide corridors for wildlife is vital eg. in maintaining populations of small birds and preventing isolated remnant pockets from developing. These would reduce the genetic diversity and threaten species already being reduced by habitat loss and the rise in aggressive birds (eg Noisy Miners).

13 More needs to be done to see what the savings (if any )of the regulations that are in place now. Water tanks have been mandatory in new subdivisions for the past 6 or so years. Detention tanks have been part of most DA's for as far as I can recall. Taking water out of the waterways I don't believe is beneficial however ther is a case to keep the water that goes into the waterways as clean as possible.
14 I would prefer to see water rates kept high to try to discourage people from using water recklessly. I don't know if pricing is a disincentive; however I don't know of any more effective measures.

It was not easy to determine who was responsible for the advice of pool removal.

There needs to be simpler procedures instead of all the red tape and misinformation provided during the process.

Until I visited the Dickson office for a way ahead the whole process as frustrating

16 The ACT in this review process has the opportunity to become leaders in this space. Learning from other regions and implementing solutions suitable for the ACT is important.
17 In any future revisions to the Code, pls ensure there is flexibility to trade off different WSUD aspects to as to enable small developments to meet WSUD in a flexible way. Water tanks aren't always teh only the single most appropriate answer.

The calculator need refinement.

The tickbox specifying whether you have a tank increases the % reduction, even if tank size is set to Zero Litres.

There are several similar quirks


1. Broadly, the code is reasonable and requirements are typically in line with other jurisdictions.

2. The ACT lacks guidelines to support a consistent approach to water modelling. Specifically, the code refers to using MUSIC models to demonstrate water quality targets are met for a particular development. However there is no guidance on treatment node parameters, which can make a significant impact on the results. Existing guidelines include Water by Design, Melbourne Water, FAWB etc provide some guidance though are not always suitable for Canberra Conditions.

3. We need to consider how to address detention requirements for smaller scale blocks. In new estate developments, it is likely more practical to have single basin that can provide detention for upstream blocks. However, if the upstream blocks are multi unit dwellings over 2000m2, then the developer also has to provide on block detention - this leads to over servicing and provision of unnecessary basins.

4. Aside form achieving water quality/quantity targets, there is no incentive for developers to provide beneficial ecosystems. In terms of land take, it may be beneficial for a developer to adopt bio-retention treatments, though a wetland of permanent water body may be better overall.

5. More needs to be done to support water quality in existing areas, many of which have very little or no treatment devices, not just new developments.

6. There doesn't appear to be a great deal of technical resources from ACT Government to discuss proposals before lodging the DA.

20 See notes above
21 no

Water can be stored in a variety of ways. Dams clearly are needed for bulk fresh water storage for Canberra. I am concerned about intercepting runoff in domestic storage tanks that are made from plastic. I think that plastic water tanks are simply duplicating the mass water storage dam at the Cotter. The environmental cost of plastic water tanks needs to be assessed as these tanks will all end up in landfill at some future time.

There is a cost concern here also. Why spend ACT tax revenue on the enlarged Cotter Dam and then ask consumers to also pay for the installation of domestic water tanks?

The other issue of concern to me is the interception of water by Canberra residents ( of which I am one) thereby reducing environmental flows to our creeks and rivers. Reduced flows in riparian environments compromises biodiversity. It also reduces much needed water supply to our downstream neighbors in the Murray Darling Basin.

I believe that the ACT governments Urban Waterways Program is excellent. The creation of urban wetlands has many benefits. Biodiversity, recreational, social and aesthetic values are enhanced. Storm water flow abatement and pollution control are also enhanced.

23 Probably, but not right this moment.

Keep the WSDU as simple as possible.

I don't understand the current requirement for minor extensions. Why are driveways and car parking areas involved. The previous system worked well. Roof areas assessed for water storage collection.

25 No.
26 I find if very disappointing and frustration in the ACT that we (my family) save a very large amount of water through our rainwater tanks and grey water system we installed and use, to find that our water and sewage bill has barely changed due to the excessive ratio of fees. Saving water should provide a far greater financial benefit and reward.
27 It is important but be careful of any further changes to the policy and this is due to the ongoing cost of construction and it's affordability
28 Plumbing water tanks into the house should not be mandatory. On our site it was not practical to do so. We would have liked to install large water tanks - for use on the gardens and to grow vegetables. The current code is too restrictive, it is impossible to quantify any benefits and I would argue is counterproductive - the point should be to reduce water mains consumption.
29 more environmental flows

Not one bucket of water has ever left planet earth !

Let us only have to flush our toilets once.

Let us put down the toilet brush and have wider trap design!

Let our lake's be blue green algae free.

31 Get rid of it. The client should have the right to decide how much water they want to save. There is no need to implement nonsense codes like this.

There are!

IN the event it is unrealistic to comply perfectly with the Code it would be desirable to move in the right direction even a little ... I do not feel it should be all or nothing at whatever cost.


33 Should rainwater harvesting subsidiaries ever be considered again then users should be able to sign up for them in advance. I had significant delay in getting a plumber and that cost me the ability to seek reimbursement as the subsidy was stopped even though I incurred the expense.
34 Clients will not adapt WSUD meausres unless they are cost effective and simple to maintain and there should not be any charges applied to users that have rainwater tanks from ACTEW

A lot of my houses are just passing even though the end result is people typically using 70% rainwater and only 30% mains water. This is because the tool doesn't take into account whole house use as well as having a very crude way of working out how much water you will use on the garden based on block size.

I can see a situation arising when there is a four bedroom house with 100sqm catchment and a 3000litre tank not passing even though a family using a whole house system will only be using 125kl of mains water on average per annum. Increasing the tank to 9000litres will only drop that usage down to 120kl per annum.

Unless the tool becomes more sophisticated and takes into account whole house I reckon it should probably be scrapped. Rainwater tanks just to the garden, toilet and laundry typically do very little to reduce consumption and might even have a negative effect as people use more water thinking that it is Ok to use a bit more water as they have got a tank.

Instead of legislating that everyone needs a tank it is better to dramatically increase water fees after say 100kl/annum to encourage people to get one and use it properly.

36 the ability to respond to the survey in question 7 is not correct. you cannot enter an answer for each criteria.
37 Not fully aware of the WSUD code
38 Minimum tank sizes required offer little valuable water storage. But small blocks, limited funds means larger tanks are rarely installed. In most cases mains switches are utilised to ensure water availability if tank runs dry so user has control of usage anyway. Unless well filtered which is another cost, rain tank water can cause issues for plumbing fixtures. A bit like energy efficiency, it's only efficient if the user knows how to maximise efficiency of use.
39 n/a
40 The code should be based on site, context, scale and type of development rather than land use zones.
41 Proponents should have the ability to apply for an exemption from having a water tank if they are in a low-income category.
42 The code needs revision to provide better solutions to total water usage rather than just mains supplied water. Similarly detention/retention systems need to allow better usage of existing facilitites that may be downstream of the affected site rather than looking at each individual site in isolation with no consideration of unused storage capacity within the stormwater system elsewhere. The use of rainwater tanks, particularly on small lots is of dubious , if any, benefit. Also, use of hard or water minimisation landscape that reduces external water use on dwellings should be considered when calculating 40% reduction estimates. Finally, all water reduction measures need to be subject to thorough cost benefit analysis prior to adoption. Government has some good policy objectives with respect to affordability of housing in the ACT, but many of the development directives are apposite to this. WUSD is a major example of this lack od consistent coordination to achieve good community outcomes.

The Water Catchments Code is in more urgent need of a re-write. It's very difficult to interpret as there are no apparent rules or criteria.

Since WSUD rules and criteria are written into all of the development codes, the WSUD code really only needs to be a handbook on how to meet them. Or, if you write rules and criteria into the WSUD Code then you should remove them from all of the development codes.

44 It should be personal choice of the homeowner if they want water tanks, or greywater recycling, or water pressure limiting showers. The economic choices will result in many doing it anyway. Stormwater management for larger developments should be mandatory, and there should be rules in place to prevent homeowners stormwater causing trouble to neighbouring properties.
45 Water saving is a good idea but you need to weigh up the costs to the individuals at the time of building - people should have access to government initiatives or the opportunity to install water saving measures within a timeframe to save money at the initial build.
46 Take a long cold shower and give the water back to the river.
47 No
48 Does not translate well to developments at Uriarra Village using Bendora non-potable water for the areas of the home usually serviced by rainwater under WSUD (eg toilet).
49 I do believe this code has the right intentions but I also feel it does noting the actually educate building users. Most tanks on large sites are underground and no-one knows they are actually used. I believe as with all good design items in relation to building management it all comes back to monitoring, if building users know how much they save, how much they use, and what impact these design initiatives have on not only the dollars but also the environment and quality of lifestyle.

Question 7 is not set up properly you can only tick extremely important for one aspect

I last submitted a DA in 2009 and got my certificate of occupancy in July 2010 so I was not affected by the new code but I believe my new garage would have complied with the new code.


The single biggest reduction in water use is reduction in block size and setback to boundaries. Compare Forrest water bills with Gungahlin.

Long term water restrictions lead to poor suburban streetscapes in most suburbs (20 to 40 year old suburbs).


Yeap.... I understand that some current developments are planning against 1 in 100,000 floods.

I would be very happy to have my home completely destroyed and my family and friends wiped out every 20000 years or so.

And, unless i'm mistaken, since we only have a few hundred years of records or less, I dare say it's utter rubbish anyway.

53 We have enough regulation and dont need any more
54 Yes, you could possibly explain it before asking people to complete surveys and then survey people for whom it is relevant - not people who tried to build a fence.

The current code is a very poor fit for commercial and industrial land development projects.

The mandatory targets for water demand reductions are irrelevant for developments that do not demand any mains water, such as infrastructure projects (roads, drains, car parks) or for the creation of empty blocks that later are assessed under the code. The potable water demand reduction targets should be specified to apply to buildings serviced with water and possibly landscape works. The application of a mandatory rule under the Territory plan to reduce demand below zero adds no value.

56 I am unsure if it is still the case but a few years ago there was a rebate offered for the installation of a water tank - but only if it was connected to a toilet - which made a pump almost mandatory. There was no restriction on use of mains water for gardens (other than in droughts). This meant that there was an incentive to buy pumps, use electricity to run them and install additional plumbing - rather than use rainwater ranks (and gravity) to water gardens - which would seem to me to be a much more environmentally sound approach.

I feel it is a good step forward and something that can be easily incorporated into design processes, however,

this industry should not take the fall for the public using water within their homes at an unsustainable level. Most people shower morning and night - why?

Why shower in the morning - most use the excuse, "to wake me up". Well, thats not good enough. If we are going to make a conscious effort about water useage, lets go back and provide every home with a tank and thats all the water they have to use. All farmers have to live like this and can manage, why cant city people do the same? I know its a very primitave comment but maybe education at an early age would assist.

There are many homes in gunghalin that have been built with instantaneous HWS that are wasting water daily because of the layouts of the wet areas and the run of water taking up to 90sec before the hot water reaches the tap. These homes are still being built! But can you ask the home owner to provide secondary HWS at a cost starting around $2000? I dont have the answer because energy efficiency, high quality and housing affordability do not cooperate!

The last comment I would like to make about this is:

In 2011 I was invited to ACTEW on behalf of the construction industry about discussing the use of water within our industry and where and how can we save water. On residential dwellings, water useage is quite minimal unless a random act or accident may occur. I asked the question, "who here twice daily"? All of the ACTEW staff present at that meeting raised their hands. What we dont know, is how long they shower for and if this small act was able to be scrutinised then I think the savings would be huge!!

How are we going to achieve this?


It is important that the code is assessed and implemented in an even and unbiased way across all developments by appropriately qualified individuals who understand what is being done and why.

It is also important that the requirements make sense and are practical. The territory plan and the WSUD manual are not consistent, and the WSUD manual is not consistent within itself. Clarity should be provided as to the exact requirements.

59 I built a commercial building in 2009-2010, the building was originally approved with two 5000 litre water tanks. The building has twelve toilets & two showers, half way through the project the specs were changed by ACTPLA to three 20,000 litre tanks, a complete overkill, not to mention a complete blow out on the budget. After much fighting we were able to get this reduced to two 20,000 litre tanks. The buildings around me have all put in 5,000 litre tanks, so in ours & everyone else's opinion the government has no idea and does not care about budgets for private developers!

Many instances of non compliant outcomes have been installed since implementation of the code.

Regulation of code compliance and installation recommended.

61 Although it adds additional costs to building a new home, we cannot rely on bigger dams and more rainful to sustain us.