Gallery 8

Sustainable Cities

A computer monitor with the words Sustainable Cities, sitting on a timber display.

Technology used to harvest and treat stormwater helps to create water-efficient cities.

How it works

Follow the path of a drop of water through a multimedia maze containing water harvesting and recycling technologies in domestic houses, factories and waste recycling plants.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • What changes have we made at home to recycle or conserve water?
  • Would it be better to harvest lots of water for the house so we don't put pressure on the town's water supply, or would it be better to focus on using less water and recycling the water that we use?


The multimedia maze demonstrates how water moves through the water cycle within our environment, including the harvest of water through stormwater drains and its use in houses and factories. Eight different wastewater treatment systems are represented, along with notes about how water needs to be recycled using filters, reverse osmosis and chemical treatments. Domestic water saving technologies such as low flow showerheads, are also highlighted within the maze.

Finding the science in your world

Water efficiency in homes and workplaces is becoming more important, as water availability becomes less certain and the cost of harvesting and treating water becomes more expensive. Australians' attitudes towards water usage have changed over the last few decades. Where garden sprinklers were once commonplace, they are now much less used and in some circumstances, have been banned altogether in areas where water restrictions have been permanently implemented.