Latest version of MUSIC released

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Councils and developers creating water sensitive cities will value new technology, released today, which streamlines the modelling and approvals of urban stormwater systems, via MUSIC.

“Water sensitive urban designs can contribute to good water quality and promote water recycling – and councils are increasingly ensuring that such designs underpin urban development,” says Ashis Dey, the director of urban products at eWater. “However, they also need to have an efficient approvals process so that the assurance of water sensitive urban designs does not become a bottleneck in the development process.”

MUSIC-link is a new feature in the latest version of MUSIC by eWater (version 6). It is intended to both speed up design and prevent bottlenecks in approvals. MUSIC is the leading stormwater modelling software used by thousands of professionals working in private practice and in state, regional and local government agencies throughout Australia. 

Using MUSIC-link, developers can quickly find council requirements, which are pre-loaded in the MUSIC software, saving time in design. Council staff can easily check the compliance of the submitted stormwater designs.

“Local Government is at the forefront of requiring, assessing and operating a range of stormwater management assets, and must be effective and efficient at considering development applications,” says Andrew Allan, National President of the Stormwater Australia. “MUSIC has established itself as the key conceptual design aid, and MUSIC-link has the potential to further streamline the assessment process, saving local councils many hours of assessment time and improving the consistency of outputs.”

Version 6 of MUSIC also has improved usability and integrates many design calculations previously done outside the software.

eWater collaborated with seven councils in developing MUSIC v6 and MUSIC-link: Blacktown City Council, Newcastle City Council, Lake Macquarie Council, Port Stephens Council and Ku-ring-gai Council in NSW, the City of Onkaparinga (SA) and Brisbane City Council.

eWater is an Australian not-for-profit company that helps organisations to build water management capability.

All local governments are invited to upload their specific requirements for water sensitive urban designs into MUSIC by contacting eWater.

For more information about this press release contact: 

Ralph Ogden
T: +61 2 6201 5168            
M: 0407 013 077
E: contact@ewater.com.au

For more information about MUSIC or MUSIC-link contact:

T: 1300-5-WATER (toll free within Aus) or +61 2 6206 8637
E: music@ewater.com.au
W: www.ewater.com.au/music


Advancing water sensitive urban design

How MUSIC-link (in MUSIC v6) facilitates enhanced standards by councils for water sensitive urban design

Since the 1980s governments at all levels have introduced initiatives to protect the aquatic environment of urban areas. While the initial focus was on point sources of pollution, such as sewage discharge and industrial effluent, attention has now turned to diffuse sources of pollution, such as urban stormwater. Indeed, stormwater runoff is recognised as a major carrier of urban pollutants.
 
It is difficult to prevent stormwater from damaging and polluting creeks because runoff can be contaminated almost anywhere rain falls, and excessive flows will occur wherever there are impervious surfaces directly connected to waterways. Consequently, successful initiatives to manage stormwater must adopt a catchment-wide approach, with a particular focus on tackling the sources of stormwater runoff at or near their source. This is one of the main aims of water sensitive urban designs.
 
Another aim of water sensitive urban designs is to improve the water security of cities. Many cities have grown to a point where the traditional water supply systems, with water sourced from dams, no longer guarantee water supplies during droughts. Alternative supplies have been sought, including from stormwater capture recycling. Water sensitive designs also aim to increase the amount of water supply coming locally from urban areas.
 
Water sensitive urban design (WSUD) therefore recognises the stormwater runoff potential of paved and other impervious surfaces in urban areas, and use elements such as swales, water tanks, rain gardens, stormwater wetlands and gross pollutant traps to interrupt and slow the flow of stormwater and trap the pollutants. 
 
A number of Australian councils are now seriously aiming to apply WSUD in all new developments. Blacktown City Council for example requires stormwater running off new developments to be managed to a very high standard.
 
To develop a water sensitive design, stormwater professionals widely use the industry standard stormwater modelling software, MUSIC by eWater. MUSIC—Model for Urban Stormwater Improvement Conceptualisation—helps developers and planners conceptually manipulate stormwater infrastructure options for an area, in relation to topography, weather records, land use and demand, until their urban design meets or exceeds appropriate council standards for stormwater volume and pollutants. 
 
Since MUSIC was first developed in 2001, the software has been used by thousands of professionals working in private practice and in state, regional and local government agencies throughout Australia. With the release of MUSIC v6 comes improvements in usability and robustness, with the addition of the new timesaving feature MUSIC-link. MUSIC-link will save time in the planning and assessment of stormwater management for participating councils because it incorporates councils’ detailed requirements for WSUD. MUSIC-link also provides a specialised reporting facility for checking the modelled stormwater systems against the specified council requirements.
 
Members of participating councils are excited about the prospect of using MUSIC-link themselves, and also about the benefits for the consultants drawing up WSUD for their cities. 
 
"Assessment of new developments can be a time and resource consuming process, as no two developments are ever the same, and the devil is often in the detail!” says Chris Haskas, Team Leader - Technical Services, City of Onkaparinga. “As our development conditions require compliance with water quality improvement targets, evaluation of treatment chains, including interpretation and approval of MUSIC models forms an integral part of the assessment. MUSIC-link will speed up the development approval process, create certainty about the information we require, and save consultants also from having to fine tune their models to our specific requirements. This must result in reduced costs for development,” Chris says. 
 
For developers and consultants designing stormwater systems for participating councils, MUSIC-link removes the tedious setup stage spent gathering and entering council requirements into the MUSIC model. Further, once the stormwater treatment train has been designed, the developer can quickly check it in MUSIC-link, showing immediately if the planned design is satisfactory or if it needs to be adjusted.
 
The seven councils already working with MUSIC-link can see the potential for their future water sensitive cities. These are Blacktown City Council, Newcastle City Council, Lake Macquarie Council, Port Stephens Council and Ku-ring-gai Council in NSW, the City of Onkaparinga (SA) and Brisbane City Council — all represented at the official launch of MUSIC-link on 7 November at Blacktown City Council chambers. Here is some of what they had to say about the new service:
 
“Local Government is at the forefront of requiring, assessing and operating a range of stormwater management assets, and must be effective and efficient at considering development applications. MUSIC has established itself as the key conceptual design aid, and MUSIC-link has the potential to further streamline the assessment process, saving local councils many hours of assessment time and improving the consistency of outputs.”
— Andrew Allan, National President of the Stormwater Australia
 
“The benefits of the MUSIC-link software are mainly delivered to the people of the City of Newcastle. By creating an integrated, cohesive and consistent base model for water quality management in the city, high levels of water quality within our waterways will be the delivered outcome for the residents of the city to enjoy.” 
– Paul Mather, Senior Development Officer (Engineering), City of Newcastle.
 
“We hope that introducing MUSIC-link, with the benefits outlined above, will help give us a reputation as a Council that is interested in quality, positive, and consistent development assessment, and that Developers will see significant benefits and build better working relationships with us. Having consistently configured models will allow for ‘seamless’ integration of the many small precinct models into a single area wide model. We have already established water quality load standards, and are presently developing an ‘area wide’ water quality management and monitoring framework … we hope to be able to chart our overall performance in water quality improvement against the targets established in the Adelaide Coastal Waters Water Quality Improvement Plan.”
– Chris Haskas, City of Onkaparinga
 
“It will be most beneficial for private development, and as we are requiring more and more development to include WSUD in their design, this will make the process of assessing the application much easier.” 

– Jay Jonasson, Environmental Engineer, Ku-ring-gai Council
 


MUSIC-link functionality is paid through a subscription model by assessing authorities / councils. All local governments are invited to upload their specific requirements for water sensitive urban designs into MUSIC by contacting us:

T: 1300-5-WATER (toll free within Aus) or +61 2 6206 8637
E: music@ewater.com.au
W: www.ewater.com.au/music