Recent media highlighting Perth as a ‘water guzzling’ city does not take into account some of the fantastic water saving measures that are being implemented in newer land development projects according to the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA).

“It was not surprising to hear that established areas such as Peppermint Grove are recording the highest level of water consumption in Perth,” UDIA WA CEO Allison Hailes said.

“We are talking about areas with huge lot sizes and very little regard for saving water when they were established,” Ms Hailes said.

“New land developments are now raising the bar significantly when it comes to saving our precious water supplies,” Ms Hailes said.

“According to the Water Corporations’ calculator, newer areas such as North Coogee, Alkimos and Joondalup all recorded water consumption levels below the Perth average,” Ms Hailes said.

Overall, newer areas have smaller lot sizes with less lawn areas and primarily include drought resistant or native planting both in private and public spaces,” Ms Hailes said.

“The majority of developers implement Water Sensitive Urban Design principles into their planning and development, which maximises opportunities to reuse storm water and recharge groundwater,” Ms Hailes said.

“This means public open spaces in particular use less water,” Ms Hailes said. “This is important so that the community continues to have access to recreation areas.”

“UDIA’s EnviroDevelopment certification program also has extremely high standards for developers to meet the Water element of the program,” Ms Hailes said.

“Projects certified under the water element of EnviroDevelopment must implement measures which reduce potable water use across the project beyond current regulatory measures,” Ms Hailes said.

“Looking in more detail, projects must promote the use of alternative water sources, water efficient appliances, fixtures and fittings and water efficient landscaping in private outdoor spaces,” Ms Hailes said.

“Developers must also encourage alternative water sources or the use of drought tolerant species to meet irrigation demand for common areas of the project,” Ms Hailes said.

EnviroDevelopments certified in Water are also eligible for recognition as a Water Corporation WaterWise Development.

“There are also several developments around Perth that have introduced community bore systems,” Ms Hailes said.

“While bores do access groundwater supplies, this is a much more sustainable practice than using other water sources such as from a desalination plant that requires higher energy usage,” Ms Hailes said.

“There are also developers that offer rainwater tanks as part of their land packages,” Ms Hailes said.

“Overall, Perth should be proud that we are moving in a positive direction when it comes to reducing our water use,” Ms Hailes said.

“Of course, there is always more that could be done and UDIA is very supportive of furthering large scale wastewater reuse technology in WA in order to catch up with the rest of the world with regard to that type of technology,” Ms Hailes said.

“The state government needs to be proactive in providing a policy environment that encourages innovation, particularly in areas such as water and energy saving,” Ms Hailes said. “This will only benefit Perth and future generations.”


For more information:

Gemma Osiejak

UDIA WA Executive Manager Communications & Marketing


M: 0421 506 819


  • Shoreline at North Coogee by LandCorp
  • Bushmead by Cedar Woods Properties
  • Parkside Walk by LandCorp and Town of Cambridge
  • Allara by Satterley Property Group and LandCorp
  • Rosehill Waters by Noahs Rosehill Waters
  • Rockingham Industrial Zone by LandCorp
  • Port Coogee by Australand
  • Alkimos Beach by LandCorp and Lend Lease
  • The Glades at Byford by LWP Property Group

More information on EnviroDevelopment: