Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Environmental Planning Professor tackles water issues

29 January 2014

Floods are becoming harder to manage by trying to hold water back behind flood defences, so it’s time to look at how to defend against them at the building and community level.

This is the view of Professor Iain White who joined the University of Waikato’s Environment Planning Programme from the University of Manchester in July 2013.

Professor White says climate change is making weather events more extreme, and escalating urbanisation is changing catchment behaviour so rivers are expected to manage more water than ever before. In addition there are more and more surface water flooding events occurring.

“This is where flooding occurs through inadequate drainage in the urban area after heavy precipitation. In this case flooding is impossible to defend against with a wall by a river as the problem may not even reach the river.”

Professor White believes there are cost-effective ways to protect smaller settlements which may not warrant a big defence, or houses which are subject to flooding from poor drainage.

Technologies can be fitted to homes and businesses, or temporary barriers can be put up around communities in a reactive fashion in response to weather predictions. The knowledge is there for properties to be kept dry in water up to around a 600mm in depth. This means that all but the worst floods can be managed. It is not a replacement for flood defence, rather a way to protect the areas where flood defences cannot reach or where it is not cost effective to do so.

Some of the ideas to produce flood-proof buildings include installing door and window guards and flood doors to prevent water entering through doors and windows, and installing sump and pump systems in basements in areas where there is surface and ground-water.

“As far as I am aware there is no one else doing this type of research in New Zealand,” says Professor White.

“Surface water flooding is an emerging area here and this is a problem we are just starting to grapple with.”

Professor White lectures in three papers at the University of Waikato: “Planning for Sustainability”, “Strategic Spatial Planning” and “Advanced Planning Theory”. His research focus is in environmental planning, adaptation to climate change and the effective management of water in society.

Professor White has also just finished a large international interdisciplinary project researching the development of flood-resilient buildings – looking at technical and design considerations, the materials involved in creating buildings that will withstand floods and what it might mean for people and planning.

His work appears in numerous publications and Professor White is now working on a second book due for publication in 2014 “Environmental Planning, Politics and Policy”. His first book, “Water and the City”, was published in 2010. He has also been appointed as Chair of the Hamilton City Council Sustainability Panel.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Game Review: Until Dawn - Pick Your Own Horrible Adventure

Supermassive Games’ Until Dawn sees a group of dumb sexy teenagers take a trip to a spooky mansion atop a mountain. It is, obviously, a horror game. However, the game is so ridiculous it turns out to be more of a comedy. More>>

John McBeth: Our World Cup All Blacks

Forty or fifty years ago nobody really had any idea of what the selectors had in mind. There were often several trials, which sometimes featured over 150 players, possibly an inter island match or a final trial, then we listened to the announcement of the team on radio. The players weren't flown into the capital for a parliamentary function... More>>

ALSO:

Game Review: Midsomer Murders Meets First Year Philosophy

Developed by The Chinese Room, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture sees the player exploring what appears to be a recently abandoned idyllic English village trying to figure out where everybody's gone. Spoiler: they've gone to the rapture. (On a serious note, this review contains plot spoilers.) More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Clear Science

It was really after his move to Wellington, to Victoria University, that it became apparent that Sir Paul Cllaghan was much more than an eminent physicist... More>>

ALSO:

Francis Cook: Weekend SportzMania! All Blacks! Netball!

Sports were on all weekend. I normally don’t write about sports but with Richie McCaw tipped to be the next Prime Minister, and Colin Craig arguing sports are almost as important as politics, I thought “what better time to start!” More>>

ALSO:

Beervana: Aussie Pav Beer Declared Taste Of NZ

In a surprising upset, an Australian beer modelled on the pavlova, created by Brisbane brewery Newstead Brewing, the 250 Beers blog and Scratch Bar, has been announced the winner at the Beervana craft beer festival ‘Flag Brew’ competition, which challenged media and brewing teams to capture the distinctive taste of New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news