Water has become a risk rather than an opportunity in our cities and that must change.
At Ecobuild, Professor Tony Wong, chief executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, spoke about the steady progression up the agenda of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) in Australia. Successive years of flooding and some of the worst droughts in history have threatened the health and wellbeing of the population and nearly brought industry grinding to a halt, prompting the government to think differently about water.
A new report published in March reinterprets the WSUD concept and its concludes: for too long, we have been designing water out of our cities when we should have been designing it in.
For example, sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) – the creation of ponds, wetlands, swales and basins that mimic natural drainage – can be a cost-effective way to prevent surface flooding while creating valuable public amenities. But we need to go further and join the dots between flood risk management and water resource management, and put water at the heart of discussions about what makes places great to live...