Water Sensitive Urban Design


A/Prof David McCarthy

Research opportunities

Focus areas

Widespread adoption of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) principles is critical to ensure water supply security and liveable cities under population growth and a changing climate. This subtheme is focusing on a number of challenges associated with transitioning to WSUD. Socio-technical models are being developed for applications such as envisaging urban water management scenarios and quantifying flood risk. Technologies for treating and recycling multiple water streams (stormwater, wastewater, groundwater) as well as protecting and rehabilitating urban waterways are being designed and tested, with a particular focus on biofilters and living walls. WSUD systems and urban waterways are also being monitored to demonstrate their performance.


To maintain leadership in the development and testing of WSUD technologies and modelling tools.


To facilitate widespread adoption of WSUD for water supply security and enhanced liveability of cities under population growth and a changing climate.

Research highlights

Awards and Honours


Learning resources

Selected projects

  • Zhang, X., Deletic, A., McCarthy, D., 2014-2016, Development of Solar-induced, Dark-active Photocatalytic Membranes for Stormwater reuse, ARC Discovery, AU$390k
  • McCarthy, D., 2014-2016, Interactions between plants and faecal pathogens in urban water treatment: significance of soil microbes, plant debris, root exudates and rhizosphere, ARC DECRA, AU$395k
  • McCarthy D.T., Deletic A., Bulach, D., French, N., Cottam, D., Prosser, T., Gourmelon, M., Swimming with the bugs: from risk identification to management [2016-2019], ARC Linkage Project & Melbourne Water, EPA Victoria - $780k
  • Fletcher, T.D. & McCarthy, D.T., Water Management in the Tarago Reservoir Catchment [2015-2017], Melbourne Water Industry Grant - $300k
  • McCarthy, D.T., Henry, R., Deletic, A., Kolotelo, P., Cheap sensors for detection of sewage in urban stormwater [2017-2019], South East Water, $177k
  • McCarthy, D.T., Zhang, K, Deletic, A., Schang, C., Challenge testing of a new rainwater to hot water treatment system [2017-2018], South East Water, $350k
  • Bach, P. M., Virtual Reality for Planning of Green Urban Water Infrastructure [2017–2019]: ARC DECRA, $360k
  • Deletic, A., Bach, P. M., McCarthy, D. T., Metzeling, L., Coleman, R., Rauch, W., Advancing water pollution emissions modelling in cities of the future [2017-2019] ARC Linkage Project – $484k
  • Wong, WW., Winfrey, B.K., Kessler, A.J., McCarthy, D.T., Cook, P.L.M. Mitigating groundwater-derived pollutants in coastal environments using a drift algae-based permeable reactive barrier [2018-2019], Monash University Interdisciplinary Research Support Program, $46k
  • Lintern, A., Duncan, J., Winfrey, B., McPhillips, L, Grady, C. Developing next generation solutions to mitigate the grand challenge of nonpoint source pollution. [2018-2019], Monash University – Penn State University 2018 Collaboration Development Fund, $20k
  • Adyel, T., Kessler, A., Abdallah, Z. Benefits of green urban water infrastructure under a warming climate: A collaboration to improve urban and community resilience. Faculties of Science, IT and Engineering ECR Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grant Scheme [2018], $10K


Academic staff

Dr Tanveer Adyel
A/Prof Edoardo Daly
Dr Anna Lintern
A/Prof David McCarthy
A/Prof Valentijn Pauwels
Dr Christian Urich
Dr Brandon Winfrey

Research staff

Dr Harsha Fowdar
Dr Rebekah Henry
Dusan Jovanovic
Peter Kolotelo
Dr Emily Payne
Christelle Schang

Postgraduate students

Penny Galbraith

Key facilities