The impacts of climate change on our stormwater and wastewater systems
Author & Presenter: James Hughes, Tonkin + Taylor
What will climate change mean for our stormwater and wastewater systems? This study presents findings from Deep South Science Challenge funded research into this important issue.
Much of New Zealand’s stormwater and wastewater infrastructure is vulnerable to the risks associated with a changing climate, including sea-level rise or increasing extremes of rainfall and/or drought. The nature of existing stormwater and wastewater systems mean that they will be significantly impacted in a wide variety of ways including the increasing occurrence of compounding hazards. For example, many discharge to low lying areas, and it is these coastal and riverine locations that are most at risk to flooding associated with increasing rainfall intensity compounded with rising sea levels and changing groundwater levels.
This paper presents findings from Deep South Science Challenge – funded research on the economic, environmental, cultural and social impacts and implications of climate change on New Zealand’s stormwater and wastewater systems. In addition to identifying impacts and implications, the study identifies regional priority areas, and develops a series of guiding principles for managers.
Who can we trust to make the strategic infrastructure decisions that our country desperately needs? Wisdom tells us to first look to the industry experts. But how well are we cultivating this intuitive expert knowledge? Does the decision making process hold up to scrutiny and is it conducted in a framework of continuous improvement?
This paper follows on from my 2016 IPWEA presentation and showcases the results of my master’s thesis research examining “Intuitive Decision Making for Wastewater Pipe Networks”.
I’ve pilot tested a method for documenting wastewater network renewal decision making with the aim of supporting continuous improvement in this strategic infrastructure focal point. The research method includes a survey capturing the intuitive insights of over 40 industry experts to document the collective importance of the various factors considered during the wastewater network renewal planning process. The ideas presented within apply beyond wastewater networks and hold relevance wherever decision makers are faced with the challenge of complex socio technical infrastructure systems. In other words, just about everywhere…
The principles supporting pavement construction Quality Assurance in New Zealand are known.
How often however, when as-built pavement performance does not meet our expectations, do we find that Quality Assurance has not been effective and largely administrative?
With input from the industry, the authors developed the Quality Right initiative in pavements for the New Zealand Transport Agency. Quality Right aims to positively influence all stages of pavement delivery including: procurement; pavement design; material supply; pavement construction, including subgrade and pavement layer preparation and surfacing.
In this paper the authors discuss how Quality Right in pavement construction means the Principal, Contractor and Engineer share and use current, explicit information about the works to support informed, collaborative decision making, delivering sustainable, resilient pavements.