How saturated is saturated?

How saturated is saturated?

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Hi everyone,

Are saturated zone bioretention systems any more likely to be invaded by aquatic weeds such as Typha than normal bioretention systems. That's what a friend and colleague asked me recently. Given Typha's love of wet feet and the word saturated it was a fair question. Let's take a look.

Cheers

Jack

That's like WSUD - Going slow

That's like WSUD - Going slow

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Hi there,

A couple of episodes back, we took inspiration from Ray Dalio's recent interview on the Tim Ferriss Show to discuss the parallels between the factors that contribute to a successful life (as defined by Ray) and those that might contribute to success in implementing WSUD.

Well... I'm now reading Ray's book! That means, we're drawing inspiration from him again. 

In the book, Ray describes how he learnt to deal with dichotomy's in investing. A dichotomy is where two things, objectives, choices etc appear to be completely opposite. In investing, the typical assumed dichotomy is between risk and returns. Typically its is thought that you can't have high returns and low risk. It's thought to be either high risk, high return or low risk, low return. Ray argues that if you take long enough to think about the situation, most dichotomy's don't actually exist. This struck us as useful to consider in the context of WSUD, particularly in light of our last episode about the need to do more with less in WSUD.

Cheers

Jack

Doing more with less

Doing more with less

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Hello hello!

On today's episode we talk about the power of asking (and answering!) the right questions.

Recently, I was working with a number of colleagues, for a local government, and we asked ourselves a series of questions about the state of WSUD in that local government area. The first three questions were pretty standard. The fourth, well its obvious in hindsight, but I had never asked it before. The answer set a really clear direction in my mind. We need to do more with less.

That might sound like a cliche, but its actually really useful if you follow it through to what it practically means!

Cheers

Jack

That's like WSUD - Ray Dalio on the makings of a successful life

That's like WSUD - Ray Dalio on the makings of a successful life

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Hi everyone,

Time for another 'That's Like WSUD' episode, where we take an idea or a concept that we have heard about, read about or somehow otherwise come across, and apply it to WSUD. In today's episode we draw inspiration from a recent episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where Ray Dalio (AKA the Steve Jobs of investing) describes the three factors that contribute to a successful life. It seems to us that these same three factors might contribute to successfully developing and implementing WSUD.

Cheers

Jack

Cleaning up after the house builders

Cleaning up after the house builders

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Sometime opportunities just appear and you have to make the most of them. Recently, our good friend Stephen Turfrey invited us out to watch a bioretention basin being cleaned out (thanks mate!). The system had been filled with a large amount of sediment (that washed off the yards of houses being built in its catchment). Cleaning sediment out of a bioretention system might sound easy, but there are a few key things that you have to get right. This contactor was doing a good job!

Interested in visiting this bioretention system? You can find it on The WSUD Map (it's bioretention system B00423)

Cheers

Jack

Trying different filter media

Trying different filter media

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In today's episode we speak with Dale Browne from E2DesignLab about his recent experiences specifying amended filter media in bioretention systems to improve plant health.

Cheers

Jack

From ideas to policy

From ideas to policy

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Ideas are good. Implementing them is better. In this episode we use Whitsunday Regional Council's Stormwater Quality Guideline as an example of how to turn WSUD ideas into WSUD policy.

NOTE - Occasionally we forget to say something important while making a video. This is one of those moments. One of the things that made writing the Whitsunday Regional Council Stormwater Quality Guideline both a pleasure, and hopefully, a success, is the manner in which Council involved the local engineering and development industry in writing the guideline! That was a good move on Council's part!

Cheers

Jack

That's like WSUD - The first answer is the...

That's like WSUD - The first answer is the...

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Inspired by Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, we consider what happens when groups attempt to answer challenging questions. Do groups always get it right? Do different groups reach the same decision? Most importantly, what does this mean for WSUD?

Cheers

Jack

Zero additional effort WSUD

Zero additional effort WSUD

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You've heard of zero additional maintenance WSUD. What would it look like if we took that further. Introducing... zero additional EFFORT WSUD.

Cheers

Jack

That's like WSUD - REVOLUTION

That's like WSUD - REVOLUTION

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We take a close look at why public policy seems stuck in a cycle of exciting new idea (that fails to deliver), followed by another exciting new idea (that fails to deliver), followed by another... you get the idea.

Cheers

Jack

Where there's smoke there's... bioretention

Where there's smoke there's... bioretention

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Hello hello!

Today's episode is inspired by the ABC's Gardening Australia program.

In a recent episode, Josh Byrne interviewed Professor Kingsley Dixon about his work into what causes Australian native plants to germinate. Long story short, smoke is important!

This got us thinking. If smoke is important for Australian native plants to germinate, what does that mean for us trying to establish self sustaining bioretention systems?

Cheers

Jack

Worms in the bioretention

Worms in the bioretention

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Today, we're giving you worms!

... in the bioretention that is.

Well... in part of the bioretention...

Why is it that these worms are only living in part of the bioretention system and not others?

Cheers

Jack

Leadership is for everyone

Leadership is for everyone

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Hi there!

This episode is a long time coming. 

Andre Taylor is one of those people that I would like everyone in the water industry to meet. This is another one of those instances... I was luck to meet Andre when I was quite new to the water industry and I'm very grateful for it.

Andre is a leadership specialist. Don't worry, you don't need to feel nervous about that title. The type of leadership that Andre teaches and advocates for is the type that everyone can and should be demonstrating in their lives. It's the sort that makes our work better, more fulfilling and more effective.

In my mind, that means that leadership is for everyone.

In this episode Andre and I chat about what water leadership is and how we can start applying it in our day to day work.

Cheers

Jack

Urban design and streetscape WSUD

Urban design and streetscape WSUD

Hello!

Bell Vista is one of the formative water sensitive urban design developments in Australia. It's known widely as the site where streetscape WSUD found its home, and many of the best streetscape WSUD practices were first used. 

When I say practices, I don't mean "they built some bioretention in the street".

No, I mean they changed the road layout entirely to implement best practice road design and best practice WSUD together, for a common goal.

In today's episode we are joined out on site by Malcolm Eadie to talk in detail about what and why Bell Vista is special. Malcolm was one of the original designers at Bell Vista.

If you want to visit Bell Vista, you'll find it on The WSUD Map. We are at site B00194.

Cheers

Jack

An old test

An old test

Hi there!

If you've been hanging around the WSUD industry for a while you might remember when Nathaniel Parker completed his masters thesis testing several bioretention systems and one wetland at Coomera Waters. 

In this episode we stumble across his old test setup and take a look at what real world testing of bioretention systems actually looks like.

Cheers

Jack

Bandicoots in the bioretention

Bandicoots in the bioretention

Hi there!

The way I see it, if you find evidence of a bandicoot digging around in a bioretention system it's probably a good sign!

Why is that?

Bandicoots dig for food. If it's digging in your bioretention systems it's either (a) desperate; or (b) finding food there, and that's a good sign. Bandicoots eat insects, grubs, tubers and roots (amonst other things). All of these point towards a diverse, healthy and thriving filter media environment.

Cheers

Jack

WSUD is to water

WSUD is to water

Hi there,

In this episode, a framework that I use to understand why it's ok that WSUD and sustainable stormwater management are having their teething problems.

A hint... water and sewer were probably no different...

Cheers

Jack

The little details

The little details

What more is there to say... whether it was intended or not, this footpath teaches hydrology!

Cheers

Jack

Credit where credit is due

Credit where credit is due

Hi there!

In Australia, when talking about water sensitive urban design, we often talk about needing to achieve integrated outcomes with multiple benefits. Perhaps it is integrating stormwater with parkland. Perhaps it is integrating stormwater with streetscape landscaping. 

The irony of this is that we actually do a very poor job of integrating the environmental benefits of stormwater with the flooding and drainage arm of stormwater. This became abundantly clear when I recently visited The Netherlands. The on ground actions being taken are very similar to what we see in Australia (think bioretention, permeable paving and infiltration), but they're being built to reduce the risk and severity of flooding. 

So why is it that we don't give any credit to stormwater treatment systems for their flood management benefits?

Cheers

Jack