Nature-Based Water Management: Treatment, Reuse and Planning

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Helping to create water resilient and efficient food production by optimising sustainable water consumption, reusing rain and waste water, treating agricultural runoff and waste, and water resource planning.

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Competitive advantage

  • Working at the intersection of plant science and water engineering; developing and applying low-cost and low-energy nature-based water treatment solutions
  • Technologies that are easily implemented into food precincts, increasing water reliability while also promoting no-energy cooling and social amenity
  • Creating water solutions for urban food production, including smart horizontal and vertical irrigation, water recycling and risk management


  • Low-cost, low-maintenance water treatment solutions that are nature based and custom designed for specific water-reuse needs
  • Production of plans to optimise water resources
  • The design of water-wise food precincts

Successful applications

  • Research commercialised into the industry-leading Biofiltration adoption guideline, contributing to the mainstreaming of technologies in Australia
  • Large number of nature-based water treatment systems constructed and monitored across Australia (with industry and government)
  • Tools for catchment-wide water management planning (UrbanBEATS), suitability mapping (SSANTO), and urban flood rapid evaluation (CA-ffe)

Capabilities and facilities

  • State-or-the-art passive water treatment technology design, including smart monitoring, risk assessment, and socio-technical modelling
  • Research greenhouse facility for developing and testing plant-based technologies
  • Water chemistry and safety analysis facilities

Our partners

  • Melbourne Water
  • EPA Victoria
  • Knox City Council, Melbourne
  • George's Riverkeeper, Sydney
  • Randwick City Council, Sydney
  • Office of Environmental Heritage
  • Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute, China