NEWS FROM DOWN UNDER: Australia in need of fresh approaches toward urban drainage and urban design
Australian Best Practice is Destroying Urban Waterways
Rod Wiese, a Director of Stormwater Australia, notes that a doubling of the population by 2061 in cities such as Brisbane and Melbourne will result in more impervious surfaces and more runoff. In turn this will put greater pressure on both existing systems in established urban environments and receiving catchments in growth areas.
At Stormwater 2016: Rising to the Challenge, Rod Wiese presented a paper titled Why Best Practice is Destroying Our Waterways.
Traditional end-of-line approaches to urban drainage are not working
Rod Wiese says the traditional end of line approach based around large centralised systems needs to give way to more proactive management at the source of catchment.
“My question is, what happens to our waterway upstream of these centralised systems? This strategy does nothing to protect our upstream waterways (under the traditional approach),” he stated. “We are using our natural waterways to convey all this dirty storm water in high volumes down to these systems where it then gets treated. The centralised approach has some benefits downstream but it is still leading to significant upstream degradation.”
Call for fresh approaches toward water management and urban design in Australia
Last year, City of Melbourne councillor Aaron Wood, who chairs the city’s environment portfolio and serves as deputy chair of its economic development portfolio, nominated water sensitive urban design as a means by which to manage flood and other risks as a critical part of the city’s push to become more sustainable.
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