Stormwater Conference - Pre-Conference Workshops


This year the Stormwater Group are welcoming two pre-conference workshops. Designing to Support the ‘Nature’ in Nature-Based Solutions taking place in the morning and Designing and Building Safe, Economic, Functioning and Maintainable Green Stormwater Infrastructure in the afternoon.

Morning Session

Designing to Support the ‘Nature’ in Nature-Based Solutions

9:00am – 12:30pm, Monday 22 May 2023 – Cordis, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Facilitator: Stu Farrant

The term Nature Based Solutions (NBS’s) is increasingly being used internationally and in Aotearoa to encompass solutions to ongoing water quality and climate change related impacts which either rely or mimic natural processes to mitigate adverse impacts and protect communities. Similar to other terms such as Water Sensitive Design, Green Infrastructure and Low Impact design, Nature Based Solutions are based on a more holistic approach to the planning and delivery of projects and require designers to integrate biological and chemical processes into the design and delivery of assets and strategies. This requires a level of understanding which differs from ‘traditional’ engineering whereby well understood methods and sizing support hydraulic function of urban water infrastructure. This understanding of how the design of future urban areas will enable Nature Based Solutions to thrive is fundamental to ongoing success but is often overlooked in technical guidance and industry standards.

This workshop will provide background and oversight of what Nature Based Solutions comprise and how these can be delivered to support community and ecological resilience and support the aspirations of Tangata Whenua for freshwater. This will include;

Definition and description of what constitutes Nature Based Solutions
Drivers for Nature Based Solutions and key functional roles they serve
Fundamental biological and chemical processes or natural systems that Nature Based Solutions need to foster and support
Specific guidance for typical Nature Based Solutions including constructed wetlands, raingardens, rainwater tanks, urban waterways, urban trees and coastal defences
Examples and lessons from applied examples
Participants will also be invited to contribute to facilitated workshopping to identify key knowledge gaps and risks that need to be addressed by industry.

Afternoon Session

Wetland Design - Minimising the Rework and providing Safe, High Quality Devices

1:00pm – 5pm, Monday 22 May 2023 – Cordis, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Facilitators: Allan Leahy, Principal Growth, Auckland Council Healthy Waters

    For New Zealand councils most of their stormwater assets are vested assets, that is assets that are designed, constructed by and capital cost directly financed by developer interests. At the completion of the development these assets are then vested in (handed over to) the local council for their long-term ownership and maintenance.

    • Over the decades standard designs have been prepared and are readily available for the piped infrastructure components. However, despite constructing them for 30 years now and their design and functional complexity the same has not yet happened for Wetland (or wet pond) asset components.
    • In part due to this lack of standard designs, vested wetland assets are often found to be less than ideal in terms of meeting their intended performance requirements, are difficult and expensive to maintain, and/or may be unsafe either to the public or for maintenance operators. These issues lead to a lot of discussion (disagreements) through permitting, construction and vesting processes that often delay projects, require redesign work and in some cases remedial construction works. Often the issues lead to the community funding larger scale capital works renewal of these devices much earlier in their design life than expected.
    • This interactive workshop is intended to use case studies and experience to explore some of the common safety and operational issues identified in vested ponds and wetlands. It will also discuss some suggested solutions that can be incorporated at the design and construction phases to avoid the need for expensive remedial works and to improve safety. In particular the workshop will focus on designs to address health and safety and operations and maintenance issues, with reference to experiences from around the Auckland region considered.

    With the recent storms that have seen us into 2023 and the likelihood of climate change further impacting on weather extremes across the country, investing in green infrastructure like wetlands and their acknowledged multiple benefits to communities and the environment is coming to the fore. It is critical that these devices are designed and constructed to the high standards required for a changing climate and continuing population growth in urban environments.

    Allan will be joined by:

    • Tony Cain – Auckland Council Healthy Waters, Operations North Team Manager
    • Scott Speed – Auckland Council Healthy Waters, Manager Wai tātai / Waterways Planning
    • Peter Mitchell – Stormwater Asset Manager, Waka Kotahi Auckland System Management

    Head over to the Stormwater Conference page, to register and find out more information.

    • 22/05/2023
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    • 09:00 - 17:00
    • Cordis, 83 Symonds Street, Auckland, NZ
    Stormwater Conference