Flushing success for UNSW Law academic | Law

Flushing success for UNSW Law academic

UNSW Law academic, Janice Gray, has applied her knowledge of Water Law to a unique project which seeks to capture and re-use urine for use as an agricultural fertiliser. Diverting phosphorus-rich urine from urban toilets, the project investigated how this waste could be used as a potential substitute for the depleting mineral resources used in chemical fertilisers.

Led by the Institute of Sustainable Futures (ISF) at UTS, the project drew together academics and stakeholders such as Lend Lease, Sydney Water, Caroma and Arup to develop Australian design guidelines for UD systems in multi-storey buildings.

Janice Gray’s role was to lead the regulatory stream and try to see how existing law and regulation played out in the context of this groundbreaking experiment.

“Given that this project was 'revolutionary' there was no existing law or regulation specifically designed to cover our scenario. I had to investigate what laws already exist in relation to capture, storage, transportation and re-use of the urine from the urine diverting toilets, and then ascertain where the legal and regulatory gaps were. It is definitely a work in progress.” she said.

The pilot project has enjoyed such success that it won the Environmental Leadership and Innovation Award at the NSW Government's Green Globe Awards, announced at Parliament House on Monday, 3 September, 2012. It has also gained a commitment from Lend Lease to install urine diverting toilets at its Barangaroo development and Broadway Building project at UTS.