Key insights from development of policies for integrated water cycle management that include stormwater in Systems Frameworks for Big Data analysis

Written by

July 23, 2014


Dr Peter Coombes and Dr Michael Barry

 Stormwater 2014, 3rd National Conference on Urban Water Management, 13 – 17 October, 2014 – Adelaide, South Australia

This paper discusses key insights from initiation of water cycle reform and policy development for new thinking about water cycle management across many jurisdictions during the last decade. These successful reform programs were activated in the jurisdictions of the New South Wales, Victorian and Australian Capital Territory governments. Systems Frameworks for Big Data analysis are presented as a powerful process for framing evidence based policy from the “bottom up” using all available data and integrating all available spatial and temporal scales of behaviour. The often overlooked (in favour of discussions about harvesting) integration of soil profiles, vegetation, land uses and waterways in the System Framework policy process is explained. It is a key insight that waterways, land uses and stormwater management are inexorably linked to water cycle and town planning systems and are the foundations of successful water cycle management. The value of waterway and stormwater management policies and actions are only fully realised from a systems perspective. The Systems Framework analysis of biophysical systems reveals that the behaviours of water cycle systems are cumulative rather than static. This insight indicates the potential exponential impacts of missed opportunities and a need for ongoing diligence.

Dr Peter Coombes

Dr Coombes has spent more than 30 years dedicated to the development of systems understanding of the urban, rural and natural water cycles with a view to finding optimum solutions for the sustainable use of ecosystem services, provision of infrastructure and urban planning.

Connect with Peter

Related Articles

Is zero afflux the question or answer to better flooding outcomes?

Is zero afflux the question or answer to better flooding outcomes?

Presentation by Peter J Coombes and Andrew Allan at HWRS 2022: Is zero afflux the real challenge or solution for better flood management? It is vitally important to establish science and legally based rules for fair administration of the objectives and exploration of options that respond to flood risks. Otherwise, there will be a substantial administrative burden for marginal benefit. Our professionals and agencies need to be prepared for a different and challenging future, and our methods need to be fit for purpose from a whole of society perspective.

Available Storage in Rainwater Tanks – Stormwater Benefits

Available Storage in Rainwater Tanks – Stormwater Benefits

Impact of rainwater tanks on stormwater infrastructure. What is the available storage in rainwater tanks prior to a rain event that is significant to stormwater infrastructure? The use of design storms is current Australian practice for design of stormwater management...