Our newest hydraulic modellers provide their round up of last week's CIWEM Urban Drainage Conference

It was great to hear that winner of last year's Adam Dean award Kam Puvanakumar presented an excellent paper about Canvey Island integrated drainage modelling.

For some this was the best paper of the conference 

It was one of the clearest presentations and gave a great overview of the Integrated Urban Drainage Study carried out on Canvey Island. It gave a snapshot of how the complex drainage systems interact and the difficulties in modelling them. It also illustrated the importance of stakeholder engagement as a key aspect of the project (which was actually a common theme in 2 or 3 of the presentations given). The resulting hydraulic model will be an important tool (if maintained) to assess and alleviate the risk of flooding to Canvey Island in the future.

Note as one of the most interesting presentations was that from Fiona at Mott MacDonald. This was because it related to model verification in a complex rural runoff system – something that struck a chord with our modellers here at RAA. It was interesting to see such a complex example. The presentation highlighted the importance of capturing a variety of storm events in short term flow surveys, especially with the soil both saturated and unsaturated.

Perhaps the stand out or most surprising fact came from the Irish Water paper.  The fact is that there is an estimated 40% of the current Irish sewer network which is unrepresented in current asset data. With the cities of Cork and Waterford not having a hydraulic model at all! This is all following the merger of individual local authority control of water into a national body responsible for all the whole countries’ assets in Jan 2014. 

All in all it was a very informative day with issues such as developing suitable and sustainable solutions which give a greater level of flood protection as well as wider community benefits being brought to the fore.

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