WSD is defined in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) as follows:
An approach to freshwater management, it is applied to land use planning and development at complementary scales including region, catchment, development and site. Water sensitive design seeks to protect and enhance natural freshwater systems, sustainably manage water resources, and mimic natural processes to achieve enhanced outcomes for ecosystems and our communities.
In the Auckland region, WSD represents the best practice approach for stormwater management, taking into consideration whole-of-life costs. Similar design paradigms are promoted in Australia (water sensitive urban design, WSUD), the United States (low impact development, LID) and the United Kingdom (sustainable drainage systems, SuDS). This guideline captures elements from these approaches, while reinforcing the unique drivers for New Zealand environments, and specifically the Auckland region.
This guideline focuses on stormwater management in particular, and does not provide guidance on the water supply and conservation aspects of WSD.
WSD provides an approach which will contribute to achieving the vision and strategies of The Auckland Plan. It is supported by rules in the PAUP, and this GD04, along with technical guideline documents, will assist in the implementation of WSD.
Uptake of WSD will be monitored to allow understanding of both the success of implementation and the physical effects on the freshwater and marine receiving environments.