WSD is often considered to be synonymous with Sustainable urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) but is not. WSD is the holistic management of the whole water cycle while considering additional aspects such as economic, social and environmental impacts. SuDS could be considered a branch of WSD, specifically focussing on the management of stormwater through a series of controls which aim to mimic the natural system.
*pull over all content from the Urban Water Management website under the WSUD SA top menu item but put it all on one page, ie. do not have any subsection drop down menu items
Water Sensitive Design in SA (drop down menu item)
South Africa is a rapidly urbanising country facing complex water management challenges, including: significant resource shortages, fragmented institutional structures, the increasing burden of wastewaters generated by both the urbanising population and the growing footprint of the resource-based industrial sector, and the associated negative impacts on the quality of surface and groundwater resources. Alternative approaches to conventional water management which aim to facilitate a change from ‘water-wasteful’ to ‘water-sensitive’ environments will be required if serious economic and socio-political threats are to be averted. Water Sensitive Design, WSD is such an approach, integrating total water cycle management with the built environment through planning and urban design, providing multiple benefits and opportunities to overcome challenges with water management.
The concept of WSD is increasingly being adopted in SA, in 2014, the University of Cape Town published the South African framework and guidelines for WSUD funded by the Water Research Commission (WRC). This was followed by the WRC’s development of a WSUD Community of Practice in 2014 and the establishment of WSUD as one of the WRC’s five research focus areas in 2015. On a city scale, the CCT has committed to becoming a WSC by 2040 in its new water strategy released in 2020 (City of Cape Town, 2020). *mention Gauteng WSD/SuDS work and Nat Dept links to WSD