Water Green-Urban-Management (WaterGUM)

Living wallBiofilterWaterGUM logoGreen wallWetland


The Urban Water group is a new growing group within Water Research Centre, under the leadership of Ana Deletic, who is renowned for her research in stormwater, particularly about management of urban runoff quantity, quality and treatment.

Our group focus on: (i) development of green technologies which use natural, low energy, low maintenance techniques to remove pollutants from urban stormwater and greywater for water recycling/harvesting before discharging to receiving waterways; and (ii) integrated urban water modelling to assist in planning of green technologies in the development of Water Sensitive Urban Designs (WSUDs).



  • Water Sensitive Urban Design (Sponge City)
  • Green Infrastructure – living / green walls, biofilters (raingardens), wetlands
  • Experimental design and lab testing (testing of soils, plants, system design and operation)
  • Water chemical and microbial quality testing
  • Field monitoring and data collection
  • Integrated water modelling, WSUD planning, future scenarios exploration
  • Flood protection (modelling)
  • Planning support systems and integrated urban modelling for WSUD integration in urban landscapes



We are helping cities around the world to adopt a more sustainable system of urban water management. We have been researching on the use of biofilters, wetlands and green walls to treat stormwater, greywater and ground water. These low-energy technologies enable the removal of critical pollutants, pathogens and even micropollutants. These multifunctional systems also provide amenity and cooling benefits in our urban environment. 

Our team combines the expertise in experimental design, modelling, and field monitoring to achieve the highest scientific quality results, and develop green systems appropriate for particular application.



Current Sponsored Student Projects (2020-2021)

  • Integrated WSUD management for flood protection - SPONSORED PROJECT $2,000 - LINK
  • WSUD design and maintenance nexus - ADAC revision for NSW - SPONSORED PROJECT $2,000 - LINK
  • Policy barriers for WSUD application across Georges River Catchment and NSW - SPONSORED PROJECT $2,000 - LINK
  • Water Communities from first interactions to modern day - SPONSORED PROJECT $2,000 - LINK

Past Sponsored Student Projects (2019)

  • Investigating Water Sensitive Urban Design opportunities using UrbanBEATS – a case study on Georges River catchment - LINK
  • Understanding current Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) infrastructure in Georges River Catchment - LINK
  • Community values: What is current public understanding of stormwater and WSUD in Georges River Catchment? - LINK

Active Research Projects

  • Urban flood modelling at speed and scale - LINK
  • Green walls for greywater treatment in arid conditions - LINK
  • Advanced tree-pit technology for wastewater treatment - LINK
  • Advancing water pollution emissions modelling in cities of the future - LINK
  • Sino-Australian Centre on Sponge City - LINK

Past Research Projects

> AUD$30 million research funds from government and industry to conduct research on urban water, including:

  • Integrated multi-functional urban water systems (living/green walls for stormwater/greywater treatment)
  • Developing leapfrogging pathways towards water sensitive cities
  • Socio-technical modelling tools to examine urban water management scenarios
  • Demonstrating capability for stormwater harvesting in Israeli cities
  • Cities as water supply catchments program
  • Demonstration through urban design
  • Biofiltration in Israel: The Kfar-Saba Biofilter
  • Modular stormwater harvesting technologies
  • Facility for Advancing Water Biofiltration


We have worked closely with councils, governments, water utilities, the community and the water industry (both in Australia and overseas), a few of our past and current partners include:

  • Easthigh Environmental Holdings
  • Georges Riverkeeper 
  • Melbourne Water
  • EPA Victoria
  • Knox City Council
  • Black town City Council
  • Hornsby Shire City Council
  • Office of Environmental Heritage


Our group publishes in high impact journals relating to water resources and environmental engineering. Group leader Ana Deletic has the highest number of articles in the world on the topic of ‘stormwater’, according to both Scopus and WoS. She is also the associate editor for the journal of Water Research, the #1 journal in Water Resources. Other members of the group have published a number of studies in Q1 journals in following academic disciplines: urban water treatment and technology design, urban hydrology, water and environment, water management and modelling.



Professor Ana Deletic is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and the leader of the group. Ana is working on multi-disciplinary urban water issue focusing on stormwater management and socio-technical modelling. Earlier she led the development of a number of green nature based water treatment systems which are now widely adopted in Australia and abroad.

Email:  a.deletic@unsw.edu.au

Dr Kefeng Zhang is a senior research associate at Water Research Centre and he is a research Manager for Sino-Australia Centre on Sponge City, which focus on development/implementation of new green technologies, integrated urban water planning tool and new technologies for water treatment. He is working on the development, monitoring, validation, and modelling of green technologies for stormwater management.

Email:  kefeng.zhang@unsw.edu.au

Veljko_Prodanovic_Image Dr Veljko Prodanovic is research associate at Water Research Centre, who works on the development of integrated urban modelling tool for WSUD placements and future urban water scenario investigation. His other research interests are development of green wall systems for water treatment and their impact on water cycle, microclimate and public health.

Email:  v.prodanovic@unsw.edu.au

Dr Behzad Jamali is research associate at Water Research Centre. His research involves development of rapid urban flood inundation models and integrating them with existing urban water planning tools. Currently, he is developing an integrated framework to assess the performance of WSUD technologies as a flood mitigation strategy under current and future conditions.

Email:  b.jamali@unsw.edu.au