5. Reduce stormwater runoff


Stormwater runoff, and all the rubbish and other pollution it brings with it, is the number one way our river gets dirty. A catchment-wide approach to reducing this runoff will use water sensitive design that absorbs and filters rain where it lands to improve water quality.

There are currently nine councils and the Sydney Olypmic Park Authority (SOPA) that sit on a Stormwater Subcommittee which is dedicated to adopting a regional approach to the installation, maintenance of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) and stormwater infrastructure for the catchment. As part of this, the subcommittee is:

  • Reviewing council expenditure on stormwater infrastructure with a goal to adopt a regional outlook on investment.
  • Auditing existing stormwater infrastructure assets across the catchment with a goal of identifying gaps and developing innovative responses to stormwater issues.
  • Reviewing councils’ policies when it comes to the policy, investment, installation and maintenance of stormwater infrastructure, including how infrastructure is procured and how it is maintained on both public and private land.
  • Incorporating WSUD where appropriate for council assets including improving stormwater responses on roadways and parklands.
  • Educating council and state government employees on best practice stormwater responses for public assets to facilitate a shift in culture to best practice WSUD in the catchment.


Adopt a regional approach to the installation, maintenance and reporting of stormwater infrastructure and water sensitive urban design (WSUD) infrastructure.



Lead Agency

City of Parramatta and Sydney Water.

Current Measure

The workplan, as agreed by the sub-committee, is progressed on time and in budget.

Status Update

The stormwater committee continues to meet on a regular basis. The priorities of the group centre around improving the capacity of councils to build and manage green infrastructure that will treat stormwater before it enters our river and impacts on swim sites.  The Delivery Engine is working on pathways to fund more stormwater treatment infrastructure, as well as prioritising where infrastructure is required in the catchment.

Progress Timeline

April – June 2020

  • Sustainable Funding Paper released to Group for comment.
  • Stormwater sub-committee has met six times.
  • Simon Lloyd provided his report on ‘Microbial hazards in urban stormwater and their removal through Water Sensitive Urban Design’.
  • Capacity building/training postponed until September.
January – March 2020

  • Stormwater sub-committee has met four times.
  • Workplan developed and all tasks endorsed by group.
  • Desktop analysis of WSUD assets undertaken.
October – December 2019

  • Stormwater sub-committee has met three times.
  • Workplan developed and first 18 months of tasks endorsed by group.
  • Interviews held at all member councils within the catchment (except Strathfield Council).
July – September 2019

  • Stormwater sub-committee established and has met twice.
  • Workplan under development based on actions identified by committee members at last meeting.
April – June 2019

  • Stormwater survey prepared and distributed to local councils to understand how stormwater is being managed across the catchment and provide a basis for future actions.

Useful Links

There are a number of resources and best practice examples currently in place for Water Sensitive Urban Design and stormwater infrastructure types: