When building, redeveloping or significantly extending a property, you need to demonstrate how your plans meet a 40 per cent water efficiency target. This applies to all residential, commercial and industrial developments.
Use our calculators to identify how the water efficiency targets can be met:
- Single residential waterways calculator
- Commercial development waterways calculator
- Multi-unit waterways calculator
The calculators have been designed specifically for the Canberra region using local water usage statistics, rainfall data and watering requirements.
Single residential options
For single residential buildings, you need to consider a rainwater tank or a greywater system.
Use the single residential waterways calculator to identify how the water efficiency targets can be met.
Note, if the block is less than 300m2, inclusion of water efficient plumbing fixtures, which are already mandatory, will be deemed to comply with the water use target.
Option 1: Rainwater tank
|Block size||Minimum tank size (litres)||Minimum roof area connected to tank||Tank connected to at least:|
|250 to 500 m²||2,000||50% or 75m²||Toilet, laundry cold water, all external uses|
|500 to 800 m²||4,000||50% or 100m²||Toilet, laundry cold water, all external uses|
|800 m²||5,000||50% or 125m²||Toilet, laundry cold water, all external uses|
Review the Rainwater tanks - Guidelines for Residential Properties in Canberra (PDF 3.6 MB) for advice about installing a rainwater tank.
Option 2: Greywater system, treating water to Class A standard
A greywater system is to be connected to all toilet, laundry cold water and all external uses.
Review the Greywater use - Guidelines for residential properties in Canberra (PDF 1.23 MB) for ways to re-use water from laundries, kitchens and toilets.
Commercial and industrial options
Design and construction professionals can refer to:
- Waterways: Water Sensitive Urban Design General Code (under the Territory Plan)
- Plumbing Note 24: Grey water drainage separation and provision for rainwater plumbing (single residential buildings)
- the commercial development waterways calculator
- the multi-unit waterways calculator
Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) helps minimise water runoff and ensure any runoff causes the least amount of damage. It is also about wise use of that water to improve our urban environment.
The key principles of WSUD are to:
- reduce the demand for potable (fit for drinking) water by using alternative sources of water such as rainwater and treated wastewater, and encouraging water efficient appliances
- minimise wastewater and treat wastewater to a suitable standard for re-use and/or release to receiving waters
- treat urban stormwater to a quality where it can be reused and/or discharged to surface waters
- use stormwater in the urban landscape to improve the visual and recreational amenity of developments.
In 2009 the ACT Government introduced the Water Sensitive Urban Design General Code under the Territory Plan. Find out about:
- The ACT Government Water Sensitive Urban Design Review Report (PDF 4.4 MB)
- Attachment A: Water Sensitive Urban Design Consultation Survey Results
- Water Sensitive Urban Design fact sheet (PDF 724 KB)
- Water Sensitive Urban Design Code Review – issues paper (PDF 331 KB)
- ACT Water Strategy 2014–44: Striking the Balance (PDF 5 MB)
Find out about:
- Tips on saving water at ActewAGL
Contact us for more information.