Urban stormwater design has traditionally focused on peak flows and pipe conveyance. Design standards have evolved and now require stormwater design to consider catchment changes created by urbanisation. Engineers Australia now recommends the design and installation of volume management facilities as part of drainage design.
Stormwater design also needs to look after the needs of the site, the surrounding catchment infrastructure, and the receiving waterways. Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) promotes the sustainable use and re-use of water in urban planning and buildings. This type of design integrates the water from all sources – including rainwater, stormwater, groundwater, mains water and waste water – into urban development and building design. WSUD measures and tools can be applied to residential, commercial and industrial developments and buildings. They include the storage, infiltration into the ground, treatment or use of stormwater runoff. Capture and use of stormwater run-oﬀ in urban areas has many social, economic and environmental benefits including:
- Saving money and reducing potable water use where rainwater is applied to fit-for-purpose practices, such as in toilets, hot water, laundry washing and garden irrigation.
- Creating greener and cooler urban environments with high visual amenity.
- Reducing ﬂood risk and damage.
- Extending the useful life of existing Council stormwater infrastructure.
Developments must incorporate the three following volume management objectives. These three principles, and their respective design responses, must be targeted when considering the stormwater design options for a site.
 Adapted from Australian Rainfall and Runoff Guide – ARR 2016, Engineers Australia 2016, See Chapter 9 (Urban Drainage)
WSUD in planning and building approvals training video (Thank you to Frankston Council and the Melbourne Water Living Rivers program).
This is our guide on how to submit a stormwater plan, including a quick tutorial on using InSite water and case studies
For background reading on Integrated Urban Water Management, please see the following links:
Best Practice Sustainable Design Guides:
WSUD Engineering Procedures Stormwater Stormwater eBook by Melbourne Water
Available on the Amazon.com.au Kindle Store
Other online resources
RMIT Masters of sustainable practice Integrated Water Management course slides