Water New Zealand November – December 2017

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Stormwater Kiwis engaging with the world By Michael Hannah, Stormwater Special Interest Group Chair Green infrastructure is becoming increasingly vital in the design and implementation of effective stormwater systems and is well on its way to being a major global investment. Here in New Zealand, we are part of this new and emerging field. So it was very heartening that this year a number of our stormwater group members travelled to different parts of the world to present their work and learn more about the global effort to develop better understanding of the role green infrastructure plays in the management of stormwater systems.

CASQA Allan Leahy of Santec, and Water New Zealand Stormwater Professional of the Year, was one of more than 1000 attendees at the California Stormwater Quality Association’s (CASQA) conference in Sacramento. California has the largest state economy in the United States and there is a high level of public awareness and support for stormwater management. In the US, regulation plays a much higher role in driving better stormwater management.

Committee members at the ICED conference – Troy Brockbank, Mike Hannah, and Frances Charters.

However, even more so than in New Zealand, limited resources means the application and enforcement is often limited though the ability of private citizens to take legal action often sees quasi-enforcement of the legislation, Green infrastructure (GI) plays a big part in California stormwater efforts and was a big focus of the conference. GI is not only used to treat and reduce stormwater volumes, as in New Zealand, but it is also used to directly recharge the groundwater aquifer, which is under huge pressure from the rapidly growing population. A large effort has been made to implement GI in the urban environment and to address difficult issues such as safety and litter management, which is now mandated. Allan was particularly impressed with the San Francisco Public Utilities Corporation Green Infrastructure Typical Details which are available on the website bit.ly/SFWater_ GreenInfrastructure.

WEFTEC Also in the US in September was the Water and Environment Federation’s conference, WEFTEC (see story on page 12). Suman Khareedi, Opus Group Manager Stormwater & Water Sensitive Design, presented the paper Effective Stormwater Runoff Treatment With Lightweight Media. It was a great achievement to have a paper accepted at this conference given the high calibre of competition from all over the world. Suman’s paper, on suspended rain gardens

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was presented in a Stormwater innovation stream called A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Stormwater Design Out of This World. Suman was impressed with the way the conference addressed future issues and encouraged innovation, especially in areas of water reuse, decentralised systems and GI for wider environmental benefit. We could adopt some at our own Stormwater Conference here, such as: A walking tour (focusing on a topic) taking attendees through exhibits that summarise advancements in a particular field – this could be done in conjunction with site tours; a separate section to exhibit water start-ups and new technologies; and hackathon style knowledge development forums.

ICUD In Europe the 14th International Conference on Urban Drainage (ICUD) was held in September in Prague, Czech Republic. ICUD is held only once every three years. It presents the latest advances and innovative approaches in fundamental and applied research on urban drainage. With 700 delegates from 44 countries it is like a ‘state of play’ discussion for global stormwater research. This year there was a small but engaged Kiwi contingency. Their papers are as follows: •B oyle, K. and Trowsdale, S. (2017) The water sensitive city: disrupting the politics