WaterGUM (Water Green Urban Management)

Green Technologies and Tools for Urban Water Management

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.

The group focuses 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).

Research resource and expertise includes:

  • 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)

WaterGUM is helping cities around the world to adopt a more sustainable system of urban water management. They have been researching 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 urban environments.

The WaterGUM 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.


Prof Ana Deletic, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, UNSWPROJECTS

Active projects include:

  • Advancing water pollution emissions modelling in cities of the future
  • Sino-Australian Centre on Sponge City

Past projects include:

> 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



The WaterGUM team has worked closely with councils, governments, water utilities, the community and the water industry (both in Australia and overseas). Past and current partners include:

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



The WaterGUM 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.

The team includes:

Professor Ana DeleticPro 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.

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

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


For more information, please contact:

Dr. Kefeng Zhang, Research Associate | E: Kefeng.zhang@unsw.edu.au

Veljko Prodanovic, Research Associate | E: v.prodanovic@unsw.edu.au

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