Iycee Charles de Gaulle Summary Introduction preventing – or at least decreasing

Introduction preventing – or at least decreasing


Water sensitive planning, It’s an approach towards
sustainable development that incorporates water requirements and its
considerations into the urban as well as regional planning. WSM aims of
improving the water quality and also improves the planned environment for its
users and raising the water resources.WSM gives special attention towards storm
water management and reduces the negative impacts of storm water , preserving
ecosystems and it achieves all these into a very effective way and with the
involvement of the society. Thus, WSP serves simultaneously and
synergistically social, environmental and economic goals and objectives. (R.Y.G.
Andoh, K.O. Iwugo, 2002)

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International approaches towards storm water
management have been developed in last 20 years and they all are focused on
sustainable development.

Argue & Bekele (1994) connected storm
water management with urban and regional  planning in order to protect groundwater in

Wong & Taylor (2002) published
management practices for treating stormwater quality

Fletcher et al. (2004) dealt with flood
protection and environmental objectives on the regional and national scale

Van Roon et al. 2005; van Roon 2007
strives to go beyond alternative stormwater management to an integrated urban
and rural design and development process, studying the various relevant issues,
including barriers to implementation



(a)  Multiple
goals and common means – WSP’s goals encompass preservation of water resources
– groundwater, streams, etc. – quality and quantity; preventing – or at least
decreasing – flooding, while reducing drainage costs; protection of ecological
systems; using runoff water to reduce use from conventional sources; improved
urban quality of life, in terms of green and healthy environment. Frequently,
the goals include also promotion of social capital, through peoples’ contacts
to advance joint objectives, and interagency cooperation. Each of the WSP
means/practices, such as detention, retention and infiltration facilities, can
potentially serve several goals simultaneously, thus promoting integration and
synergy in goals achievement.

(b) Integrating
research approaches and methods – We combined critical reviews of the
international literature with our own studies, covering a variety of methods:
field measurements, simulation with hydrological models, workshops of
brainstorming with practitioners in various professions, some economic
analysis, social and administrative feasibility study; all these together are
the basis of WSP policy and its principles.

(c)  Interdisciplinarily
– Not only multidisciplinary but also interdisciplinary work of planning and
design, landscaping, hydrology and water resources management, ecology,
economics and sociology. The various disciplinary professionals work together
and are required to cooperate and integrate their work, starting from the
initial stages of every planning project.

(d) Integration
along levels of planning – Identifying common principles for planning at all
levels, from the private yard to the neighbourhood, city and catchment area
(see below ‘The 3Ms of stormwater management’).

(e)   Integration between research and
implementation aspects – Two-way flow of knowledge, insights and conclusions
between researchers and practitioners



The framework for regional WSP is the drainage
basin, the area from which runoff flows to a single outlet, such as a river, a
lake or the sea. In recent years, with the trend towards sustainable
development, the term used is: integrated catchment management (ICM). This
concept is central in the European Union’s Water Framework Directive (Thornes
& Rowntree 2006) that calls for ICM plans for each European river basin
within the next 15 years. Yet in most countries, even those that have partly
adopted urban WSP practices, the implementation of regional WSP – or ICM –
suffers from lack of appropriate data and cooperative work of scientists and
developers (Bowden 1999), and in general is rare (Roy et al. 2008). Some of the
literature on ICM is strictly ecological: ‘Integrated catchment management
seeks to take into account complex relationships within ecosystems: Between
flora and fauna, between geology and hydrology, between soils and the
biosphere, and between the biosphere and the atmosphere’ (Bowden 1999). Others
are interested in modelling the relationships between surface water and
groundwater (Wheater & Peach 2004). Our work belongs to the group that
tries to connect the various aspects and stakeholders: Scientists,
professionals, policy makers and the public (Johnson et al. 1996). Like
Falkenmark (2004) we search for the balance between humans and nature. The
catchment area links two mosaics, one of human water-related activities and the
other of water-dependent ecosystems, terrestrial as well as aquatic. To make
the two compatible, a management task is required.

area master plan (CAMP)

The tool that is suggested for ICM is a statutory
framework of a CAMP, a plan with hydro-geographical rather than political
boundaries. The CAMP determines the location of new settlements, extension of
existing ones and ‘large’ land uses, such as parks, industrial zones, shopping
malls, power and desalination plants, reservoirs and waste disposal sites.
While the primary considerations in determining their location are political,
economic and social, WSP requires CAMPs to add to their goals also: Preventing
or at least reducing substantially flooding and flood damages; protecting the
quality and quantity of water in its sources; preserving local fauna and flora;
and nurturing water bodies, mainly lakes and streams that create the balance
between built and open spaces. For promoting these goals, CAMPs should contain
core requirements for runoff management, including delineation of flood plains
at prescribed probabilities, location of retention and detention reservoirs,
setting low and high flow limits at certain points along streams and flow
paths, and stating runoff quality criteria. The plan may contain ‘protection
zones’ for water sources, such as along lake shores and around principal
springs and wells. Flood prevention (Blaikie et al. 1994) is a central goal of
regional WSP. Instead of merely protecting against flooding, WSP prefers tools
for averting flooding downstream by reducing flows leaving constructed upstream
areas of the watershed. A major means for reducing the discharge are urban BMPs
throughout the catchment area. Nehrke & Roesner (2004) showed, by simulations
with rainfall data from Denver and Atlanta a significant reduction of peak
discharges for return periods from 1 to 50 years, by placing a detention
reservoir at the outlet from a planned neighbourhood. Sinai et al. (2006)
suggested constructing in upstream open spaces mini detention reservoirs in
depressions of the topography and larger ones in the valleys. Such devices have
the potential of serving multiple purposes, in addition to flood control,
including: infiltration into the aquifer, direct use of the water for
irrigation of agriculture or landscape elements, settling of suspended
materials and its appended pollutants from the runoff to improve its quality
before it reaches the lower sections of the stream. Certain actions taken in
the catchment area may incur costs to one segment of the population while
benefiting another. For example, if recharge of runoff from individual lots
into the aquifer is made mandatory then the cost is imposed on home owners,
while the benefit may accrue to the regional water authority that manages the
aquifer. Similarly, retention upstream will benefit downstream dwellers while
imposing a cost upstream. A catchment area authority should hold responsibility
for instituting regulations and financial instruments that make the catchment-wide
development plan efficient and equitable in terms of sharing costs and

catchment plan

Where political or practical conditions do not allow
taking the catchment area as a single planning entity, then a partial catchment
plan is a practical alternative (Thornes & Rowntree 2006). A partial plan
should clearly indicate the ‘boundary conditions’ at its edges with other parts
of the watershed: the expected parameters of runoff reaching it from upstream,
and its own effect on areas downstream. Many cases of flooding result from
inadequate consideration of such ‘boundary conditions’, for example: a new
development upstream that increases flows downstream without consideration of
the latter area’s capacity. Frequently, the motivation of a watershed plan is
creation of a regional/metropolitan park based on a rehabilitated river
(Brandeis 2004; Schanze et al. 2004). Regional parks may play a very
significant role in a regional revitalization processes, may enhance economic,
social and cultural regeneration in addition to environmental improvement, as
is the case of the Emscher river in the Ruhr area in Germany (Londong &
Becker 1994; European Academy for the Urban Environment 2007).

of floodplains

Special attention should be paid to delineation of
floodplains – areas along the stream into which water enters when the flow is
higher than can be carried by the stream channel. Water is stored in the
floodplain, some of it evaporates and some infiltrates into the ground, until
the rest can flow back into the stream as its flow recedes (California
Department of Water Resources 2007). The extent and delineation of the
floodplains and the frequency and depth of their flooding are matters of
‘floodplain management’, which must be compatible with the land uses in these
areas (see a British approach in Purnell 2002). Human settlement in floodplains
is dangerous, even if the flooding frequency is low. There have been too many
cases of casualties and economic losses in floodplains, such as the documented
Midwestern flood of 1993 that caused $12 to $16 billion in damages (Pinter
2005). Frequently, such losses are the result of spreading urbanization, as was
the case in Curitiba, Brazil World Meteorological Organization and the Global
Water Partnership (WMO/GWP) 2004. This led to a management policy that
prevented construction and settlements in the floodplain. Buying out floodplain
properties and designation of floodplains for recreation or for agriculture are
good practices, as these activities can be suspended temporarily during
flooding with acceptable losses. Where planners cannot stop construction in
floodplains, measures such as raising the buildings should be obligatory.

and supporting conditions for implementing WSP

It has been pointed out by others that there are
impediments to implementation of planning approaches similar to WSP (Goonrey et
al. 2003; van Roon et al. 2005, and a comprehensive review by Roy et al. 2008).
Experience in several countries, among them the United States, Japan, Australia
and New Zealand, as well as our own experience in Israel, indicates that
implementation of WSP requires two necessary prerequisites and promotion of
several supporting means. The prerequisites are:

and statutory frameworks

Laws and regulations should be revised in order to
overcome institutional constraints, to create planning zones according to a
hydro-geographic delineation, and to consider runoff as a resource, not merely
a nuisance. Our experience in Israel indicates that this is possible. Recent
legislation has created 11 Basin Authorities, and in 2006/ 2007 the Government
approved a statutory national plan for integrating water considerations into
urban and regional planning (TAMA 34 B), which was influenced substantially by
our recommendations for policy and planning.

the relevant professional cadres in the spirit of WSP and interdisciplinary

Conventional paradigms must be abandoned and
replaced by new water-sensitive ones, and practitioners should be equipped with
the necessary knowledge of the appropriate professional guidelines and tools,
including advanced calculation methods (see the Canadian Water Balance Model
online). A series of supporting means can promote the implementation of WSP,


Recommended in order to encourage ‘water-sensitive
behaviour’ by developers and home owners, in preference to rules and
regulations designed to enforce such behaviour.

 Public–civic partnerships (PCPs) and
public–private partnerships (PPPs)

In an era of ‘new governance’ (Salamon 2002),
partnerships with NGOs and/or private developers can promote effective and
efficient implementation. The Spanish city Zaragoza, noted for its successful
water saving programme, states that its success is due to partnership between
all sectors of society (Zaragoza web site).

and education

 Implementation of WSP, especially at the
microlevel (infiltration of runoff on-site, water conservation), requires
citizen commitment and participation. There is ample evidence from cities in
Western countries that citizens show increasing interest in being ‘green’
(‘blue/ green’ in our case), and yet, continuous investment in education and
publicity for all stakeholder, from citizens – adults and children – to
professionals and public officials, is necessary for sustainable success.


development of knowledge

The integration of water consideration into urban
and regional planning, and the effect of BMPs require further studies and
substantiation by pilot projects. Validating the 3Ms and other principles of
stormwater management mentioned above requires additional field measurements
and simulations, using both sophisticated (for research) and easy-to-use models
(for wide implementation by practitioners). Feasibility studies of the
cooperation and organization required for WSP implementation is called for.
Last but not least, relevant experiences should be documented and lessons
should be disseminated.


in progress and its paradigms

The paper reports on a work in progress. We started
from sustainable management of urban runoff, moved to the larger space of the
river catchment and to additional WSP subjects, including flood protection,
streams rehabilitation, conservation of urban water and using alternative water
resources (the last two are not detailed in this paper). Other fields are still
waiting to be added to WSP, including soil conservation on the regional scale
and wastewater management in the urban area. Beside the continuous scientific
development of WSP fields, we pursue an educational effort, directed not only
towards students in academia but also towards the relevant professional
communities. A major difficulty is the need to change work habits and work
paradigms. The suggested paradigms include:

(a)  WSP
states that water considerations are intrinsic to urban and regional planning
and should be taken into account from the very beginning of every planning
project. This requires all relevant professionals – hydrologists, water systems
engineers, urban and regional planners, landscape architects, road engineers
and ecologists – to work together in an integrated team rather than

(b) The
natural hydro-geographical structure (slopes, soils, water bodies and streams)
should be the starting point for selecting the location and spatial layout of
any built environment and its open spaces, in every location and at every
scale, from a region to a building lot.

(c)  WSP
requires to treat stormwater runoff as a resource, not merely a nuisance.
Instead of removing runoff from the built areas as quickly as possible, as is
common in conventional practice, WSP guides the planner and engineer how to
design land use and land cover for managing the quantity and quality of runoff,
so that it can be used either directly, for improving the landscape, and/or
indirectly for recharging the groundwater.


These paradigms are proposed for
universal WSP implementation, while many of the WSP rules and guidelines
suggested above that are place-related, i.e., their implementation depends on
the specific land and water and other characteristics of each place.


principles for sustainable development

WSP is a central partner in a
family of planning approaches that aims to result in sustainable development.
While working on WSP for the last 15 years, we have developed a set of
principles that are – in our judgment – generic and should characterize any
planning project for sustainable development. The eight principles are listed
below with WSP-related illustrations.  


Synergy in attaining environmental,
social and economic goals – WSP has the potential of conserving water resources
while improving the urban environment, reducing the danger of flooding,
increasing opportunities for recreation and leisure activities and reducing
costs of flooding damages and drainage systems. The message is that planning
for achieving multiple objectives within a single framework is more effective
and efficient than dealing with each separately.

Professional cooperation and development
of transdisciplinary new fields of research and action – Disciplinary
boundaries are removed, first by joint formulation of the issues, then in the
cooperation for addressing them and finally in the development of new paradigms
and models that would not have evolved within the separate disciplines.

Multiple goals achieved by common means
– Consider a park, designed according to WSP rules, that provides recreational
services to the community and serves as an attraction to tourists, while at the
same time filters runoff to improve its quality and also infiltrates some of it
to replenish groundwater; or: a detention reservoir designed to reduce flood
discharges and pollutant loadings that also serve as a visual and recreational

Anticipatory (rather than reactive)
planning – Investment in means that prevent damages, rather than merely coping
with them after they occur. For example: effective land use regulations, proper
road design and BMPs distributed throughout the watershed all help to retain
runoff close to its origin and reduce runoff flows, thereby reducing the need
to protect downstream with large drainage systems and dykes.

Common planning principles at all
spatial scales – For example: A design that minimizes the volume, discharge and
pollution loading of runoff is applied to regional plans as well as to city and
neighbourhood, and down to the individual yard.

Work with nature (not against it) – For
example: Locate open and built areas, the road system and the drainage system
in harmony with the area’s geo-topohydrography, with special attention to the
stream network, contrary to the tendency to sculpt the topography artificially.

‘Small is beautiful’ (as coined by
Schumacher 1973) – Experience demonstrates that large projects can lead to
large and irreversible damages (see the debates regarding big dams), while
small-scale development is more adaptable to local needs and wishes, and
mistakes can be corrected more easily. WSP emphasizes micro- and mezzo-level
(yard, neighbourhood) activities.

 Finally, working with the community (not ‘for
the community’) – WSP is promoted in democratic societies, where civic
awareness and civic participation are being advanced. WSP, like other
ingredients of sustainable development, has to grow bottom-up, with support and
participation of stakeholders, and cannot be promoted just top-down.


the examples that demonstrate each principle were drawn from our experience
with WSP, the set of eight planning principles is suggested for all projects
aimed at sustainable development. Adopting them is expected to serve the
planning of sustainable housing and sustainable transportation as well as WSP.