Water and the Dry Tropics

Townsville has a dry tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the wet season is in summer (November to April) and the dry season is in winter (May to October).

As Townsville residents know, the wet season is not guaranteed. Back-to-back failed wet seasons, high temperatures and high evaporation rates can stretch our water supplies.

That’s why it is so important to value our water and use it wisely.

Water Sensitive Townsville

Cover of the Vision and Transition Strategy for a Water Sensitive Townsville.Townsville City Council has a vision for a water sensitive future. A Water Sensitive City incorporates innovative infrastructure, design, and governance solutions. For example:

  • Water recycling at different scales through wastewater recovery and stormwater harvesting provides a diversity of water sources and improves the health of downstream rivers and creeks by reducing pollution and flow impacts.
  • Water sensitive urban designs integrate nature-based infrastructure into the landscape to provide hydraulic and water treatment functions, as well as amenity benefits such as an aesthetic environment and mitigation of urban heat island effects.
  • Integrated and collaborative land use and water planning results in catchment-scale approaches to enhancing flood resilience and connecting areas of green and blue to create ecosystem and recreation corridors throughout the city footprint.
  • Citizens are active in caring for water and the environment, and there is cohesion amongst the community as their sense of place and collective identity is nurtured through their connection with water.

"Townsville is an attractive, resilient city that manages water to enhance healthy ecosystems, embrace dramatic natural water cycles, drive world-leading innovation, and support citizens who are proud of their dry tropical identity."

Read the full Vision and Transition Strategy for a Water Sensitive Townsville.

Townsville’s Water History

Townsville’s relationship with water has been shaped by its unique dry tropical climate and extreme weather patterns and events.

Urban Water Transitions Framework

The Urban Water Transitions Framework identifies six distinct developmental states that cities may move through on their path towards increased water sensitivity. A city’s journey through these states is not linear and may involve leapfrogging, a concept that allows developing cities to learn from more developed cities in order to accelerate their transition to more desirable states.

Townsville's score in the key parts of becoming a water sensitive city is shown below, as well as how these scores can be maintained or improved: