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

 
Scoop Review Of Books: No Pretence. No Bullshit. Fine Poem.

John Dickson doesn’t publish much; never has. Indeed, this new collection is his first such in 18 years. As he wryly and dryly states,

I’ve published two slim volumes, and spent all
My time working on the next.
(from Wasp p.67) More>>

Scoop Review of Books: Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays On Place From Aotearoa NZ

The New Zealand landscape undoubtedly is very beautiful, but so is the British one, and my attachment to this country is much more about some particular places, and the memories and emotions that in them combine, than it is about the landscape as a whole. More>>

Canonisation Fodder: Suzanne Aubert Declared ‘Venerable’

Suzanne Aubert, the founder of the Sisters of Compassion New Zealand’s home grown order of Sisters, has been declared ‘venerable’, a major milestone on the path to sainthood in the Catholic Church. More>>

“I Have Not Performed Well Enough”: Ernie Merrick Leaving Wellington Phoenix

Ernie Merrick has stepped down from his position as Wellington Phoenix FC Head Coach. The club would like to thank Ernie for his contribution to Wellington Phoenix and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. More>>

Ray Columbus: NZ Music Icon Passes Away

60s New Zealand music Icon Ray Columbus has passed away peacefully at his home north of Auckland... Ray Columbus enjoyed more than three decades at the top of NZ entertainment as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, music manager and TV star. More>>

Review: Bernard Herrmann's Scores For 'Vertigo' & 'Psycho'

Howard Davis: The NZSO's adventurousness was richly-rewarded, as the deeply appreciative Wellington audience was given the opportunity not only to see a couple of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, but also to hear fine renditions of two of Bernard Herrmann's most accomplished film scores. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Leonard Cohen

If Bob Dylan owned the 1960s, Leonard Cohen was an inescapable presence during the early 1970s period, pre-disco and pre-punk. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Pick And Camera

Through the eyes of a miner – the photography of Joseph Divis: The occupations of miner and photographer are seldom combined. The conjunction must have been very rare indeed in the era before hand-held cameras, high-speed film and flashlights More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news