Failure to Thrive: Transitioning to Sustainable Stormwater Management

About the Webinar

Stormwater Shepherds proudly presents the Failure to Thrive – Transitioning to sustainable stormwater management: Insights from the maintenance of stormwater control measures in Melbourne webinar, with Guest Speaker Andrew Thomas. In this segment we will explore marine plastic, it’s various sources and impacts.

Conventional approaches to the management of urban stormwater have been with us for an estimated 5,000 years. Via the application of pits, pipes and channels, these approaches have served us relatively well; keeping homes, streets and cities protected from frequent flooding that would otherwise occur. However, as urban expansion continues across the globe, the downside of conventional approaches are now becoming apparent, with increased degradation of natural waterways and the pollution build-up in our oceans and seas.

As social pressure has increased to protect these waterways and oceans, some governments have responded by implementing a range of ‘Water Sensitive Urban Design’ type stormwater management measures. Examples include constructed wetlands, raingardens, biofiltration systems, swales, and gross pollutant traps. Collectively referred to as “stormwater control measures” (SCMs), such approaches to stormwater management infrastructure have only been introduced recently. In Victoria, they saw the introduction in the early 2000s, and have seen accelerated construction of the past 20 years. However, concerns have been raised about how well these systems are being maintained and that, consequently, the benefits of these systems may not be fully realised.

In this presentation, Andrew presents research focused on these concerns, identifying that the under-maintenance of SCMs may be a function of a “failure to thrive” scenario. That is, a problem with the transition of SCMs from novel concept to mainstream accepted practice. Accordingly, Andrew presents three ‘intervention pathways’ to address this failure to thrive scenario, drawing on interview data collected from 54 professionals working across eight leading WSUD councils in Victoria.

This session will be especially relevant for local council representatives, ESD consultants or engineers looking to gain a deeper understanding in the efficacy of SCMs.

The webinar runs for 60 minutes, inclusive of a Q&A session at the end of the session.

CPD credit hours = 1


Andrew Thomas

Vice-president of Stormwater NSW
Andrew is currently the Vice-president of Stormwater NSW. During his career, he has developed expertise in the environmental and social sciences, working across the public, private and research sectors. During this time, Andrew has gained experience in the management of urban water from a range of perspectives including strategic planning, integrated catchment management, asset management, performance monitoring and riparian restoration.   At the end of May this year, Andrew submitted his PhD thesis investigating concerns regarding the under-maintenance of Stormwater Control Measures in local government. Using qualitative data collected from 54 professionals across eight local governments in Victoria, Andrew was able to map the complex sociotechnical issues contributing to this problem and identify three intervention pathways to improve outcomes. Andrew currently holds a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Science (Chemistry) with Honours, and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Research investigating the performance of constructed wetlands within a major development area in NSW. 
Enrolled: 2 students
Lectures: 1
Video: 1 hour
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