Water quality, ecological values and climate change adaptation recognised in stormwater management priorities
The Stormwater Management Authority (SMA) has developed a new prioritisation framework for funding stormwater projects, releasing its Stormwater Management Planning Priorities for South Australia 2022.
The need for integrated stormwater management solutions that deliver multiple benefits to the community and environment is demonstrated by the equal weighting (20% each) given to flood and drainage; water quality and environment; and climate change adaptation for any assessment of a catchment in relation to a stormwater management plan proposal.
Figure 1: Water quality prioritisation
Figure 2: Climate change adaptation prioritisation
This is welcome news to water sensitive urban design practitioners who understand the whole-of-life costs savings and benefits of integrated stormwater management solutions that address multiple design criteria. The risk of urban stormwater runoff to the ecological values in our coastal environments is an important factor in the water quality prioritisation assessment process, as reflected in Figure 1: Water quality prioritisation, above.
Our uncertain climate future, and how our infrastructure planning should respond, has been captured in the Climate change adaptation prioritisation assessment (Figure 2, above). Catchments with low canopy cover have been identified and the need for stormwater management solutions that sustain green infrastructure will be supported under this plan. Priority will also be given to solutions in low lying areas that are more vulnerable to sea level rise and storm surge that can impact on drainage performance.
Our State’s stormwater investment will deliver better value to the community under the guidance from this strategic document.