Press Release

AECOM has published a document entitled ‘Visioning a Water Sensitive Yorkshire’ that identifies a more sustainable response to urban and rural water management in Yorkshire, U.K.

August 19, 2014

On 29 May 2014, key organisations within Yorkshire came together to discuss water sensitive urban design (WSUD) and develop a vision for a water resilient future for Yorkshire. WSUD is an approach that can meet today’s water challenges by integrating water cycle management with the built and natural environment through planning and urban design. This document sets out the combined view of the workshop participants on how integrated, smart and sustainable approaches to water management can be developed to mitigate the fluctuating challenges of flooding and water shortages and reinvigorate the community’s connection with water.

The document sets out a vision for giving a greater priority to water management considerations at the earliest stages of development and regeneration to provide resource security and future resilience to the impacts of climate change.

The publication highlights approaches to WSUD from a variety of stakeholder perspectives and addresses the drivers and blockers to achieving a water sensitive Yorkshire. ‘Visioning a Water Sensitive Yorkshire’ has been produced following a one-day workshop hosted by AECOM in May. Participants included Yorkshire Water, City of York Council and the Environment Agency.

The document has been produced to share the vision with a wider audience and to outline water sensitive design elements that Yorkshire could adopt to enhance water conservation, management of runoff and water quality. It also reaffirms the commitment by key stakeholders to continue to collaborate and place WSUD at the centre of water management strategies.

Within the publication, Steve Wragg, Flood Risk Manager, City of York Council explains: “Lead Local Flood Authorities, in collaboration with their planning teams, must ensure their region is “future-proof” and have a long term sustainable future. WSUD should be central to good place making, providing shade and shelter through effective planning; WSUD can also regain and provide new character to an area. Crucially, however, WSUD will assist with urban cooling and discharging of increasing water – the two key impacts of climate change.”

Charles Forman shares some insight from the Environment Agency: “The Environment Agency sees WSUD as a tool for achieving multiple benefits on both a local and strategic scale, and understands our role in the process as a regulator, advisor and project partner.”

Brian Smith, Drainage Strategy Manager confirms Yorkshire Water’s approach: “Development of a WSUD approach cannot be considered or delivered in isolation. Partnership working, cooperation and collaboration are essential and Yorkshire Water will work with others to create a strategy that is all encompassing.”

Summarising the objectives of a collaborative approach, Matthew Jones, director for AECOM’s water practice in the North of England believes that “Sharing the great examples of integrated water management and benefits it brings to the cities and towns of Yorkshire will encourage greater collaboration and facilitate faster adoption of this smarter approach to water management across our region. Working towards this vision will ensure the region continues to support thriving, prosperous communities whilst protecting the unique environments that give Yorkshire its iconic quality.”

Find out more in ‘Visioning a Water Sensitive Yorkshire’.

AECOM was a pioneer of Water Sensitive Urban Design in Australia where the concept originated and is now championing WSUD in the UK. It has co-authored an influential national scoping study on WSUD on behalf of CIRIA, the construction industry research and information association. The scoping study can be downloaded from the

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