Transitioning stormwater drainage into urban water management

Written by peter@uwcs.com.au

May 1, 2015

Keynote presentation at the Stormwater Victoria conference at 9:10 am on Wednesday 6 May 2015

StormEvent

Urban stormwater management is described in Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR) as the hydraulic design of urban drainage. The current approach to urban drainage is based on conveyance of stormwater runoff to meet minor and major design objectives to mitigate nuisance, and avoid damage to property and loss of life.

There have been many changes in our approach to urban water management in Australia since the establishment of the centralised and separate water supply, stormwater and wastewater paradigm in the 1800s. Urban water management has especially evolved over the last two decades to include protection of waterways, mitigation of stormwater quality, Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) approaches. Although these approaches are relatively new, they have wide adoption and support in legislation and policies for water management throughout Australia.

This presentation discusses the need to integrate evolving approaches to urban water cycle management into guidelines for urban stormwater management.

There is a need to expand the guidance provided by ARR to accommodate contemporary and integrated approaches to urban water cycle management which starts with the integration of land and water planning across time horizons and spatial scales. This guidance must include advances in urban water cycle management, and be cognisant for the likely advances in science and professional practice over the next 30 years.

An appropriate policy framework is also required to integrate land and water management with design processes at all spatial scales from local to regional. This framework also needs to apply to urban renewal and asset renewal or replacement choices. Appropriate design methods for integrated solutions are likely to include variability of real rainfall events by using continuous simulation, Monte Carlo frameworks and techniques that consider complete storms, frequency of rainfall volumes and the spatial variability of events.

About
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

Sustainable Buildings Saving Billions

Sustainable Buildings Saving Billions

Sustainable Buildings Saving Billions An alternative water strategy for Sydney Peter J Coombes and Michael Smit Systems research and modelling examined the water futures for Greater Sydney. Business as Usual will increase the demand for water in Sydney by 80% by 2050,...

On Demand Rainwater Harvesting Course

On Demand Rainwater Harvesting Course

Our On-Demand Course Has Officially Launched Get the essential tools, methods, and technical know-how to design and maintain home-scale rainwater harvesting systems. by Michelle Avis and Prof Peter J Coombes Water is a crucial resource increasingly under stress. Yet...

Alternative Water Plan for Sydney

Alternative Water Plan for Sydney

Alternative Water Plan for Sydney Peter J Coombes, Michael Smit and Michael Barry Sydney is the premier Australian city and it faces profound urban water challenges. Sydney must manage its infrastructure efficiently and sustainably to compete internationally as a...

c