"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Water Sensitive Urban Design

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Website: www.wsud.melbournewater.com.au

The key principles of Water Sensitive Urban Design as stated in the Urban Stormwater - Best Practice Environmental Management Guidelines (Victorian Stormwater Committee, 1999) are:

Protect natural systems - protect and enhance natural water systems within urban developments. Promoting and protecting natural waterways as assets allows them to function more effectively and supports the ecosystems that rely on them.

Integrate stormwater treatment into the landscape - use stormwater in the landscape by incorporating multiple use corridors that maximise the visual and recreational amenity of developments.

The natural stormwater drainage system can be utilised for its aesthetic qualities within parklands and walking paths, making use of natural topography such as creek lines and ponding areas.

Protect water quality - improve the quality of water draining from urban developments into receiving environment. Through filtration and retention, water draining from urban developments can be treated to remove pollutants close to their source.

This approach reduces the effect that polluted water can have upon the environment and protects the natural waterways.

Reduce runoff and peak flows - reduce peak flows from urban development by local detention measures and minimising impervious areas. Local detention and retention enables effective land use for flood mitigation by utilising numerous storage points in contrast to the current practice of utilisation of large retarding basins.

This approach subsequently reduces the infrastructure required downstream to effectively drain urban developments during rainfall events.

Add value while minimising development costs - minimise the drainage infrastructure cost of the development. The reduction of downstream drainage infrastructure due to reduced peak flows and runoff minimises the development costs for drainage, whilst enhancing natural features such as rivers and lakes that add value to the properties of the area.

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