This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. Drainage Systems - SuDS

Surface Water Management Conference 2012 By Lauren Goozee, Events Officer, CIWEM

“Delivering a Different Future Vision and Practice”


Better surface water management Paul Shaffer, CIRIA

Climate change and surface water flooding: risk and adaptation

Stephen Merrett, Environment Agency

Flood Risk Management An overview of current and developing policy Linda Aucott, Defra

Urban Diffuse Pollution Richard Martin, Environment Agency

Making surface water management ‘business as usual’ Peter Jordan, Ofwat

Surface Water Elimination and Reduction (SWEAR) Strategy

Jeremy Jones, Welsh Water

The role of the water companies in Surface Water Management Briony Tuthill, Anglian Water

Surface water early action: outcomes and next steps Jonathan Hunter, Environment Agency

SuDS - Urban retrofitting – a highway perspective Owen Davies, Lambeth Council

Surface Water Flooding - Community Engagement Paul Cobbing, National Flood Forum

SuDS Approval and Adoption Bodies Simon Bunn, Cambridge City Council

Testing change: What are the key elements of the new Paradigm?

Chris Digman, MWH

Sustainable Drainage The American Way: Paradigm in Portland

David Schofield, Hydro Consultancy

Community engagement – a case study from Portland, Oregon, USA

By David Schofield, Hydro Consultancy

Transitioning to a Water Sensitive Urban Design approach in the UK

Peter Robinson, AECOM

Australian thinking - the value of rainwater James Berryman, Micro Drainage Ltd


With the month of June seeing parts of the UK flooded at the same time as hosepipe bans and drought, the CIWEM conference on Surface Water Management was very timely as how we manage water, whether it be too much or too little, is high up on the agenda. We have now been told that June was the wettest since records began, with double the average rain falling during the month. The weekend of 23/24th June saw extraordinary levels of rainfall in parts of Northern England, with 5 – 10cm in some places, causing surface water and fluvial flooding. With the threat of climate change and the predictions that rainfall intensity will increase by up to 30 per cent by 2115, and the extra pressure being placed on existing drainage infrastructure with new housing developments planned across many parts of the UK, it is more important than ever that we manage surface water sustainably.

Over 140 delegates from a wide range of organisations including central Government, regulators, academia, NGOs, local Government, consultancies and research bodies attended CIWEM’s annual event. The conference focused on how surface water management fits into the broader context of water in the urban environment and demonstrated the practical delivery of projects from a wide range of perspectives in these current challenging times.

The conference programme consisted of presentations from 15 speakers plus ample time for panel discussions and Q&A with the audience. After an

introduction and scene setting from Elliot Gill, CIWEM Urban Drainage Group Committee member and

Associate Director at Halcrow, we were treated to an overview of the current situation including a

Government Policy Update from Linda Aucott, Head of Engineering, FCRM, Defra. At the event Linda officially launched the new Defra and LGA Flood Portal, a one stop shop for all information on flood and coastal risk management including guidance, legislation and research. This is part of the Defra Capacity Building campaign; a response to the recognition that Lead Local Flood Authorities (County Councils and Unitary Authorities) need to build up their skills and knowledge base to be able to carry out their new role in Flood Risk Management. Linda also announced that by 2013 there will

be publicly available surface water maps, news greatly received by many.

The conference then moved on to looking at making surface water management ‘business as usual’ from the water company perspective, followed by a session on community practice and engagement, finishing with a look at some international case studies from Australia and the USA.

Throughout the event a number of themes were repeatedly referred to by speakers and delegates alike. These are outlined as follows:

Multiple benefits

Traditionally the benefits of SUDs have been cited as mainly flood risk management and improving water quality however the move of thinking towards green infrastructure delivery and integrating surface water management into urban design has led to additional benefits being realised. These benefits range from water supply, thermal comfort, reductions in energy use, and recreational and quality of life/health benefits.

Multiple solutions

It was recognised that not one solution fits all and often projects include a range of solutions appropriate to the local situation – this might include a mix of disconnection of roof drainage, disconnection of highway drainage, permeable pavements, water butts, alongside educating and engaging with the public.

Partnership working

It was apparent that partnership working will be key to managing surface water in the future in terms of planning, delivery and funding.

Community Engagement

The National Flood Forum noted that a community that is prepared for flooding suffers much less. In addition to this local knowledge is invaluable to sustainable water management. It was recommended that early engagement with the local community should be sort before decisions have been made, rather than informing communities once a projected has been decided.

Holistic/integrated approach

integration is one of the powerful principles of sustainability and it is clear that the way forward is to take a

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