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Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is the evolution of stormwater management in Australia. 


In previous years, the focus was more on flooding, then it changed to wetlands and water quality.  Most stormwater infrastructure was large and end-of-line.  It was put in place to address the problems that stormwater was causing.  But in the last two decades, the focus has shifted from thinking of stormwater as a problem to thinking of it as a resource.


The trend has been to try and prevent the stormwater problems by addressing the issues of both quantity and quality at source, or near to source.  The trend has also been to try and impliment "softer" solutions that sometimes involve biological treatment.  Infiltration, bio-retention, wetlands, swales, raingardens and other solutions that minimise pollution, and minimise the extra flow coming from our hardstand surfaces, have evolved.


But WSUD is more than just these techniques.  It is an evolution of the philosophy of stormwater management.  Its about people and designers, integrating stormwater into our urban development.  Its thinking about stormwater as an important part of "Integrated Water Cycle Management".  Designing urban environments to embrace water/stormwater, and to view it as a resource, not a problem.  WSUD is about better designs, as well as solutions. 


The most "Water Sensitive" you can be with "Urban Design" is to impliment Stormwater Harvesting, and take pressure off our limited potable supplies. 


It should be noted that WSUD does not preclude the use of many tried and tested treatment techniques.  There are many good proprietary products that remain an excellent choice for stormwater management.  These are available for capture, treatment and storage of stormwater.  They are available for prevention, at-source minimisation, in-line control or end-of-line solutions, and all can be part of Water Sensitive Urban Design solutions. 


There are many guidelines and manuals on WSUD, that provide examples of techniques and solutions.  There are also several organisations that run training on WSUD.


The best place to start is http://www.wsud.org/