Stormwater, water supply and sewage infrastructure places a significant cost on the community in its provision and ongoing maintenance. Sewers are used to carry leftover waters from toilets, kitchens and laundries in houses and businesses. This wastewater is mostly water and contains less than 0.05% solids. Following treatment, wastewater is then returned to the environment. Nearly half the water used in households ends up as wastewater. Increasing use of stormwater/rainwater on site and use of treated effluent provides opportunities to reduce the overall costs of providing infrastructure.

Schemes run by water authorities include the selling of treated water for reuse, providing irrigation for parks and sports grounds. Some homes are also reusing their own treated wastewater for gardens and toilet flushing.

Emerging techniques, such as watermining, have the potential to meet these challenges and thus provide substantial sustainability benefits for the community. This requires an integrated approach to urban land and water based design at all levels from the individual block to urban waterways and corridors.