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New stormwater solutions needed for NZ communities to remain resilient


New stormwater solutions needed for NZ communities to remain resilient

4 May 2017

Many communities in New Zealand need to start planning for the effects of more flash floods and seawater inundation as a result of climate change.

Future scenarios that include poorer coastal water quality caused by storms and droughts are some of the key issues being discussed at the Water New Zealand Stormwater Conference in Auckland this week.

In a report to the conference, ecologist Paul Battersby of Opus Consultants says climate change will have an enormous effect on infrastructure such as stormwater management and it?s important that local authorities incorporate climate change predictions into their stormwater design.

He says estuaries and coastal areas are particularly vulnerable and there will be more overflows of stormwater systems such as happened in Auckland earlier this year.

In the paper presented to the conference today, he says more work is needed to manage riparian margins to cope with higher volumes of water and integrating water management will be vital to reducing the amount of stormwater generated by urban development.

?It is important we start planning now because we will need to bring together a whole range of decisionmakers ? from politicians to planners, designers and scientists, in order to find solutions.?

He says there are many innovative initiatives being brought to the table. These range from design features such as buildings that harvest rainwater, semi permeable pavements to allow for more water absorption and vertical and hanging rain gardens as well as new technology.