Water Sensitive City

At City of Port Phillip we have smart solutions for a sustainable future and are striving to be a Water Sensitive City.

What is it?

Water Sensitive Cities are resilient, liveable, productive and sustainable.

In a water sensitive city, we interact with the urban water cycle in ways that:

  • provide the water security essential for economic prosperity through efficient use of diverse available resources

  • enhance and protect the health of waterways and wetlands, the river basins that surround them, and the coast and bays

  • mitigate flood risk and damage; and

  • create public spaces that collect, clean, and recycle water.

Council Projects - Alma Park Upgrade

Saving valuable drinking water is a high priority for the City of Port Phillip as we look to a sustainable future. The scheme will capture and treat stormwater from the Alma Stormwater drain, store it under the Alma Park sports field and then use it to irrigate the sports field and adjacent park areas. Up to 18 megalitres of stormwater will be captured and reused by the scheme each year.

The scheme includes:

  • a gross pollutant trap to remove large rubbish and sediment from the stormwater as it enters the system

  • a bioretention system, which is like a large garden bed, that will remove fine sediments and pollutants such as nutrients and heavy metals. The bioretention system will have a surface area of 230 m²

  • Storage tanks totalling with capacity of over 1 MegaLitre, which is about half the size of an Olympic sized swimming pool

  • a small treatment shed, that includes ultraviolet treatment as the final water treatment stage

  • an access track that uses ‘grass cells’ so that we can access the site with heavy vehicles while maintaining grass coverage.

This will significantly reduce the need to irrigate the park area with drinking water. It will also provide an alternative source of water for our open spaces and will increase our water security, particularly in drier times, and improve the quality of water entering the bay.

Find out more

Measuring Progress


Council Deliverables

  1. Develop a Water Sensitive City Plan to drive an integrated approach to water management

  2. Reduce water use by renewing irrigation infrastructure and improving controls and management while maintaining highly valued green spaces

  3. Investigate and implement high value opportunities for stormwater harvesting to provide alternatives to potable water use for key Council open spaces

  4. Support plans for recycled water processing at Fishermans Bend, with water being used by residents and for irrigation of Council reserves

  5. Investigate mechanisms to require onsite stormwater detention in new developments and technology to monitor tank levels and empty prior to storm events

  6. Implement the Elster Creek Action Plan

  7. Develop and implement a Stormwater Asset Management Plan and invest in drainage improvements

  8. Plan and deliver Water Sensitive Urban Design projects to reduce the amount of pollution entering Port Phillip Bay

  9. Complete a study of permeability potential for Council land and introduce place-based permeability targets. Embed these standards into our maintenance and construction programs

  10. Update Council policy and engage with the community to achieve greater permeability on private property

Community Project

Discover how O Initiative founder, Gretha Oost, is encouraging our community to use water fountains. Read more.