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Townsville’s relationship with water has been shaped by its unique dry tropical climate and extreme weather patterns and events. The traditional land owners and custodians, the Bindal and Wulgurukaba people, relied on the region’s waterways and adapted their way of life to the dramatic seasonal variations. As the area became settled by Europeans and the town began to grow, water supply, sanitation and drainage services were provided through infrastructure solutions to suit the needs of a growing population. More frequent droughts and cyclones as a result of a changing climate, as well as pressures on surrounding marine and other natural environments, have more recently led to an increased focus on climate resilience, urban liveability, and ecosystem health. Water is now seen not just as a resource to support development and urbanisation, but also as delivering broad values firmly embedded in the daily lives of Townsville’s people. A project by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) brought together 29 leading thinkers across water, planning, environment and development in Townsville in a series of 3 action research workshops. They considered the city’s long-term water aspirations, benchmarked today’s water sensitive performance and explored strategic priorities for the shortto medium-term that will be important in pursuing their water sensitive city vision.

The vision for Townsville as a future water sensitive city depicts the values and outcomes to be secured over the next 50 years

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