Welcome to the Water Sensitive Urban Design
Strategy for Darwin Harbour

Please note, the new Darwin Harbour WSUD strategy website is now available. These pages will continue to be maintained for a short period during the changeover to the new site.



Darwin Harbour is a unique natural resource, and provides significant community and environmental values. The Harbour is also the ultimate receiving environment for all stormwater and wastewater discharge from Darwin and Palmerston urban areas. Recent research has identified that although the harbour is considered to be in a near pristine condition with good water quality, the impacts of urban stormwater runoff and wastewater discharges are evident. As new development occurs in the region, there is potential for increasing impacts on the Harbour.

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is a new approach to development, that takes an holistic approach to the planning and design of urban development that aims to minimise impacts on the natural water cycle and protect the health of aquatic ecosystems.

The Water Sensitive Urban Design Strategy for Darwin Harbour is a joint project between the Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) and the Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts (NRETA), supported by funding from the Commonwealth Coastal Catchments Initiative (CCI). It will provide policy, tools and resources to ensure that urban development in the Darwin region is underpinned by a commitment to sustainable urban water cycle and stormwater management.