Sydney in Australia has taken bold new steps to address water scarcity. As part of their goal to fulfill 30 percent of its water demand with recycled water by 2030, they enlisted Turf Design Studio and Environmental Partnership to design the Sydney Park Water Re-Use Project. A fully-operational system that harvests stormwater for the 44-hectare Sydney Park, the project is designed to capture and clean the amount of water required to fill 340 Olympic-sized pools in a year.
The Sydney Park Water Re-use Project is the city’s largest facility for water reuse and stormwater harvesting, according to ArchitectureAU. The innovative project enlivened an existing park to make even better use of the space and recycle water for city use. Four wetland ponds in Sydney Park were transformed into the water reuse project, and a stormwater drain from Sydney suburb Newtown was also connected to the new system. The project enables water to be filtered through “a pollutant trap and series of bio-retention beds,” according to the city.
Turf Design Studio described the project as an intersection between ecology, art, science, and design. They said the Sydney Park Water Re-use Project offers “a revitalized, multi-faceted waterscape that celebrates the connection between people and place.”
Stepping stones allow kids to hop around the cascading wetland system, and a creative terracotta pipe installation, hearkening back to when the area was once the location of a brickworks, allows water to spill artfully at the system’s mouth. Consultant Dragonfly Environmental created wildlife habitats utilizing recycled materials to encourage biodiversity. Native plants dot the area, and walkways allow visitors to explore.
Under their Decentralized Water Master Plan, Sydney also aims to connect the Sydney Park Water Re-use Project with a recycled water network spanning the city in order to capture and conserve local water that would otherwise go to waste.