Stormwater planning in New Zealand has experienced many changes over the last few decades with more changes anticipated for the future. We have increasingly been using advanced tools such as modelling and GIS to support catchment analysis, strategy development and planning activities, to deliver catchment planning outputs.
The process of defining the performance, values and critical issues within in a catchment requires that significant amounts of information and data is analysed. Most of the data, gathered or generated as part of the planning process, such as stream data or overland flow paths, are very useful and of value to multiple parties. Additionally, it is expensive to gather this information and it tends to be a limited to a few, often needing specialised skills and custom platforms to access information.
So, the traditional “big-paper-based” technical reports with maps and large appendices are only accessible to a few parties. Getting more (cross council) return from these investments is achievable by taking advantage of the new software tools and online functionalities, which are now commonly available, to share the rich information sets which are collated and/or derived through these types of studies.
The paper will present ways to access (consolidated) information using (for example) ESRI StoryMaps, interactive web-based tools and GIS information resources to support City scale master planning and catchment scale studies. This can enable the user to read about all aspects of stormwater management and while easily scrolling through the presented narrative while having access to contextual geospatial visual information such as maps or graphics in the adjoining pane, which changes while scrolling through the story.
Many data layers used in such an application can be directly linked to existing council systems so that these have the potential to be updated as council’s information changes. Data management is therefore an important part of the process and mapping of data sources and structure are key. The better data is integrated, and management systems are in place, the easier and more efficient the process tends to be.
The interactive web based ‘catchment plan’ also allows for the story and the maps to be relatively easily updated as planning information gets added on an as and when required basis. This allows for the completeness and reliability of the information to be improved over time and only where required, rather than having to have a full revision of a catchment plan.
As part of this paper learnings from Horizons Regional Council, Hamilton, Whangarei and Richmond City Councils will be used to illustrate the process of using interactive web-based tools and GIS information resources to support City scale master planning and catchment scale studies.