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Discover how we are protecting the Gold Coast's natural environment - our spectacular beaches, hinterland ranges, bushland and waterways - and how you can help.

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Water Sensitive Urban Design

The way we construct our urban environments affects the quality and quantity of stormwater running from our catchments into our waterways and hence the health of our rivers, creeks and the ocean.

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) incorporates water into the urban landscape as a feature, enhancing the aesthetic, cultural, environmental and economic values of water.

WSUD is intended to reduce demand on reticulated water supply and importantly reduce the pollution from stormwater runoff by a range of approaches aimed at conserving water and improving water quality.

Achieving water sensitive urban communities depends on the City of Gold Coast, developers and residents all playing their part.


Some of the features that are prominent in greenfield areas that have utilised WSUD principles include:

  • grass swales to replace concrete gutters
  • bioretention basins to remove pollutants and allow for enhanced rainwater infiltration to groundwater
  • artificial wetlands provide stormwater buffering to natural waterways
  • rainwater tanks reduce household demand on reticulated water

Moreton Bay Waterways & Catchments Partnership

The City is an active member of the Moreton Bay Waterways and Catchments Partnership. The partnership is an alliance of local governments in south-east Queensland that has been formed to address water management in the region.

The partnership has developed WSUD guidelines for south-east Queensland with an excellent website detailing WSUD principles.

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