New Zealand’s response to stormwater management for our transport and urban environments will change in the future but how? This paper considers the future drivers due to population growth, changing transport choices, technology, environment, climate change and government policy drivers. By considering these drivers we can better plan, design and manage our stormwater infrastructure and invest well for the future.
Our transport systems are changing significantly due to population growth, uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) and modal shifts to walking, cycling and public transport.
Technology will also change mobility through personal transport devices, EVs and autonomous vehicles, as well as how we potentially manage stormwater quality by source control measures for brakes or new treatment and maintenance technologies.
The environment is also changing due to factors such as climate change. Meanwhile, the cumulative impacts of our activities on the environment are being felt strongly and a stronger stormwater management response is likely to be required.
The current government policies are known and New Zealand’s commitments through international agreements to climate change and sustainability are clear, so we can begin to anticipate the consequential requirements.
The stormwater infrastructure we are building is normally designed for a 100 year life so we need to consider the foreseeable changes that will occur during the life of the assets. We need to future-proof the stormwater infrastructure we are building today to avoid regretful/wasteful spending on redundant infrastructure or future expensive retrofit.
In this paper we explore each of these drivers for change, considering their impact on stormwater management for our transport and urban environments, including the timing. We advise on where changes will be impactful, their timing, and what stormwater managers, planners and designers should be considering at present to be future-proof or at least future-aware.