Urban Water

Tropical urban areas experience high temperatures, humidity and intense rainfall creating challenges in terms of providing adequate water supply, stormwater and wastewater management. For urban areas along the coasts of tropical Australia, these towns/cities face challenges related to flood and water quality issues especially if they drain directly into World Heritage Sites such as the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). A holistic catchment management approach is needed to plan and design urban areas to protect our fragile environment. It is also important for improving the liveability urban residents, supporting the region’s environmental and cultural values.

TUDLab team members are actively working in the tropical urban water space with projects such as the Smart Catchments: Saltwater Creek Project run by the Cairns Regional Council in collaboration with James Cook University and other industry partners. The project uses a wide range of sensors and smart technology to monitor and quantify the city’s impact on the GBR from a water quality perspective, using the Saltwater Creek catchment as a case study. Discussions are underway to develop a catchment management plan for the site.

TUDLab is also committed to understanding the opportunities and challenges of water sensitive urban design (WSUD).  We have been working on documenting some of the WSUD innovations in residential developments such as Smithfield Village - which was one one of the first case studies documented by the TUDLab.

Research team: Han She Lim, Lisa Law

Related information:

Lim, H. (2018) ‘Playing God: introducing natural hydrological processes back to cities’, TESS Seminar, James Cook University, presented 8 March (available here TESS Seminar 7/03/18).

Lim H (2018) Water and the tropics, Foreground, 7 November 2018.

Lim H and Lu X (2016) Sustainable urban stormwater management in the tropics: An evaluation of Singapore's ABC Waters Program, Journal of Hydrology 538:842-862.