National stormwater conference

National stormwater conference

18.11.2010 - Posted by Dom Blackham
Rob Catchlove recently attended the National Stormwater Conference in Sydney. Here's his summary of the highlights of the event.

The recent National Stormwater Conference in Sydney was the first nation-wide conference - the state industry associations have traditionally held their own conferences.

The conference was dominated by a few issues: the emphasis on stormwater quantity versus stormwater quality, the implementation of water sensitive urban design, discussion on water sensitive cities and the harvesting of stormwater. It is an interesting time in stormwater management as the industry debates where the priorities should be: quantity (with more support through stormwater harvesting) or quality. There is a strong sense that stormwater is on the verge of being part of the broader water supply system and city-wide strategy, yet the implementation of WSUD is still a struggle and far from being mainstreamed.

I presented a paper entitled ‘Raingardens or rainwater tanks - community’s willingness to install and effectiveness in achieving regional change.’ The paper found that while the community doesn’t identify with and is not really committed to stormwater quality improvements, their response to drought and demand management strategies has resulted in a huge increase in rainwater tanks and hence a huge volume of stormwater being disconnected. So the result for stormwater is a good one, but people do it for different reasons. This could be capitalised on into the future.

South Australia won 3 out of 4 awards at the conference, recognising that Adelaide is quite advanced in their approach to stormwater issues.