The WSD CoP is the result of two South African Water Research Commission (WRC) projects. The first project developed guidelines for implementing Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in South Africa. The second project supported the development of a framework for implementing Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) in South Africa.
The Urban Water Management Research Group at the University of Cape Town led both projects under the leadership of Assoc. Prof. Neil Armitage (Civil Engineering), Assoc. Prof. Andrew Spiegel (Social Anthropology), Dr Kevin Winter (Environmental and Geographical Science), and Dr Kirsty Carden (Civil Engineering). The project is now housed within UCT's Future Water research institute, which developed out of the Urban Water Management Research Group, under the acting directorship of Dr Kirsty Carden.
A number of other institutions and individuals are involved and have contributed to the projects, these include: