Alluvium in partnership with the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) developed a Water Sensitive Vision for the greenfield city of Amaravati in the state of Andrah Pradesh India in close consultation with the city urban planning agency – the Andrah Pradesh Capital Regional Development Authority (APCRDA).  The project was funded by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Australian Water Partnership and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

This project was a unique opportunity to influence land use and water infrastructure planning for the city by promoting an integrated approach to urban water management and avoiding otherwise siloed approaches which we often see in cities globally. Using the goals of a water sensitive city as a framework, Alluvium and partners (including in-country partner Terracon Ecotech) interpreted what a water sensitive approach means for Amaravati and where the opportunities are. The goals aligned strongly with the city’s masterplan around well-designed liveable communities and a clean and healthy environment, with opportunities for protection of the region’s natural values and receiving waters including the Krishna River and more adaptive, multi-functional infrastructure.

The project demonstrated the application of Australian’s urban water management expertise in an Indian city context with a specific focus on urban stormwater management. A key outcome was improved understanding by the city’s urban planners of how stormwater complements the water cycle and the range of beneficial outcomes that can be achieved when more sustainable and resilient approaches and multi-functional infrastructure are adopted such as healthy waterways, comfortable urban environment and increased resilience to flooding.

Another key outcome was the inclusion of stormwater management principles and pollutant load reduction targets into the city’s sustainability guidelines.  It is expected that the initial focus on stormwater management and infrastructure will leverage opportunities in water supply, sanitation and waterway management as well as influencing urban design to adopt ‘green infrastructure’ that is often a characteristics of water sensitive cities.

The project outputs included a vision and set of objectives for a Water Sensitive Amaravati, principles that can be applied consistently to all land development across the city, and a design manual to enable implementation of concept design ideas on the ground. It is hoped that implementation of a water sensitive approach at Amaravati can provide an exemplar for other cities in India as well as similar context globally.