City of Melbourne music case study

Using stormwater for irrigating Melbourne's parks


The City of Melbourne uses music to calculate how much stormwater is available from its urban catchments to see if there’s enough to irrigate parks, gardens and sports fields. The stormwater is stored in large underground tanks and ponds and then pumped out for irrigating parks.


“music is the easiest tool available for modelling volumes of stormwater,” says Ralf Pfleiderer, WSUD Coordinator, City of Melbourne.

Ralf uses music for sizing up new stormwater harvesting projects.  He calculates how much stormwater is running off roofs, roads and urban areas and into the stormwater system.

music lets Ralf see where stormwater comes from and how much can be stored in each tank. The program displays supply and demand in percentage terms, making it easy in the design stage to calculate the size of the tank required for each park and the likely costs.

music is very easy to use, and it allows City of Melbourne staff to quickly work out, at an initial stage, if a stormwater harvesting project is feasible.  It saves the City of Melbourne a substantial amount of money before engaging external consultants for such projects,” says Ralf.

The City of Melbourne also finds music essential for looking at the quality aspects of stormwater. The package gives an assessment of stormwater quality, and tells them if stormwater quality targets are being met. Ralf Pfleiderer says ’Without music we wouldn’t be able predict stormwater quality targets.’

Ralf has found the improved updated climate data functionality really useful. He can now easily update climate data and use data for the last 10 years which gives a much more accurate figure of the stormwater run off available.