Water Planning for Sydney
Water planning for Sydney

Water for people and water for the environment

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Capacity building

The impact of Australia’s growing population and variable rainfall means we need a range of measures to secure Sydney’s water supply now and in the future.

Effective and integrated education builds the capacity of the people of greater Sydney to play an informed and active role in working towards a sustainable water future.

Projects such as; Advancing Sustainability Leaders, Water Engineer Engagement and Education Training; and Showcase support key water stakeholders, such as local government to effectively deliver a wide range of water initiatives.

Advancing Sustainability Leaders

Advancing Sustainability Leaders (ASL) is an innovative leadership development program for managers, senior staff and emerging leaders from all areas of local government in the Sydney Water or Sydney Catchment Authority operating areas.

This included managers in roles as broad as engineering, communications, design, policy, finance, facilities, sustainability, planners and cultural services.

The year long leadership program involves actively working on a local council water project and developing skills to become an effective sustainability leader and catalyst for sustainability at work and in the community.

The Metropolitan Water Directorate have formed a partnership with the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) to deliver a 2014/15 ASL program. This program is funded by an Environmental Trust grant and Metropolitan Water Directorate (through the NSW Climate Change Fund) and builds on the successful program with the same title which was delivered by Metropolitan Water Directorate in 2012. 

The program is offered free of charge. Equivalent leadership programs cost up to $8,000. Selection was highly competitive and applicants were assessed against selection criteria. 

More information on the 2014/2015 program can be found on the WSROC website.

Water Engineer Engagement and Education Training

Research has indicated that despite strong community interest in stormwater and rainwater recycling by government; community awareness and understanding of existing and proposed recycling projects is low. Many people are unable to identify existing recycling infrastructure in their local areas. However, they react positively when they hear about local initiatives.

To address this, Water for Life, within the Metropolitan Water Directorate developed a recycling communications strategy which included the ‘Water Engineer Engagement and Education Training’ (WET) program. WET aims to increase the capacity of water professionals who manage water recycling initiatives (such as engineers, project managers and planners) to use community education and engagement to improve and promote their projects.

A one day pilot training program was undertaken on 30 May 2013 and involved 24 participants from 14 Sydney local councils who wanted to learn more about practical, cost effective techniques for engaging the community in water recycling and stormwater harvesting projects. 

In June 2014 the final version of the one-day program was delivered in Wollongong and Parramatta to over 35 local government and state government staff in the Sydney Water and Sydney Catchment Authority operating areas.

WET is an initiative of the NSW Government through its Water for Life program and funded by the NSW Climate Change Fund. The program is offered free of charge.


Showcase is Water for Life’s major engagement and education forum. This one-day event is a must for anyone involved in water issues, working for sustainable outcomes or engaging the community about the environment.

Participants of Showcase:

  • Hear from experts on cutting-edge engagement, social research and education approaches like behavioural insights, communities of practice and choice modelling
  • Explore practical techniques for designing and evaluating their projects
  • Discover where water planning is heading in greater Sydney and the lower Hunter
  • Network with other engagement, education and communications professionals from the water and sustainability sectors
  • Celebrate significant water education and engagement achievements over the past year

Showcase was held in November 2012 and 2013 at the Australian Technlogy Park, Eveleigh. The event was offered free of charge.

Showcase is an initiative of the NSW Government through its Water for Life program and funded by the NSW Climate Change Fund.

More information

If you have questions about these programs or would like more information please contact us