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Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) in the UK

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is a conceptual approach to urban water management, which has become increasingly popular in recent years, with considerable advancement in Australia in particular. WSUD is a broad term that describes types of land planning or engineering design that support the sustainable management of the whole urban water cycle; including water supply, water reuse, wastewater management, and groundwater or surface water management. It differs from the term Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), which tends to refer to the management of surface water runoff only. SuDS is an integral part of WSUD; the key concepts and principles are the same for both.


The aim of WSUD is to reduce environmental degradation, while also meeting socioeconomic needs. WSUD should also aim to improve the aesthetic or recreational value of an area. Collaboration between communities, organisations and businesses is needed to in order to implement WSUD effectively.


Ciria has produced a number of guidance documents describing how WSUD can be carried out in the UK. These include an animation, an ideas booklet and a scoping study. The purpose of the documents is to encourage and support the implementation of WSUD in the UK by outlining the key principles of WSUD and exploring the wide range of techniques or approaches through which it can be achieved. The ideas booklet provides some examples of what WSUD could look like in different situations and at different scales.



Ciria website (with links to publications) – http://www.ciria.org/Resources/Free_publications/Water_Sensitive_Urban_Design.aspx

YouTube animation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfOqMj-hXVc&feature=youtu.be