A re-design of the stormwater drainage channel which encircles the La Trobe University Melbourne campus reduces their potable water use by 26ML a year (equivalent to 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools).

Designed by CJ Arms & Associates, the La Trobe University Integrated Stormwater Management Project replaced an outdated system – referred to as the moat – which caused flooding throughout the campus. It was providing limited storage capacity and riparian treatment. 

According to CJ Arms & Associates, its project has “provided La Trobe University with a unique water sustainability design outcome”. 

“It has responded to the impacts of climate change and the need for forward thinking and decisive action in managing urban water by designing systems that are site-specific, target zero-energy consumption, and use appropriate technology.”


Besides just increasing the moat’s storage capacity, the project introduces a new stormwater harvesting and treatment system.

A new riparian wetland was also installed, providing a number of benefits. These include extended detention and riparian revegetation for water quality improvement and enhanced biodiversity; attenuation of contaminant loads and peak stormwater flows; opportunities for teaching, learning and research and a place of native habitat, and outdoor amenity.  


The project took out the Innovation or Application category at the 2017 Sustainability Awards.

"The physical and regulatory context of the La Trobe Stormwater Project set a very high bar for the project team, which they cleared in a most beautiful and restorative way," noted the jury.