Doing more with less part 3

Doing more with less part 3

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Hi there,

We can't seem to keep away from this concept of 'doing more with less'. In this episode, thanks to something that Dale Browne at E2DesignLab said to me, we remind ourselves that there is more to this than simply doing more with less. There is another possibility.

Cheers

Jack

Whatever remains, no matter how improbable

Whatever remains, no matter how improbable

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Hi everyone,

This episode is inspired by one of Alan Hoban's presentations at the 2017 IECA and Stormwater Queensland Conference. Alan delved into research that shows that raingardens 'loose' far more water than MUSIC (yep, that tool used so regularly in Australia) predicts. In this episode we explain why this is a potential game changer for how we think about how raingardens work.

The research referred to is as follows:

  • Hunt, W., et al. (2006). "Evaluating Bioretention Hydrology and Nutrient Removal at Three Field Sites in North Carolina." Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering 132(6): 600-608.
  • Lucke, T. and P. W. B. Nichols (2015). "The pollution removal and stormwater reduction performance of street-side bioretention basins after ten years in operation." Science of The Total Environment 536: 784-792.
  • McKenzie-McHarg, A., et al. (2008). Stormwater gardens to improve urban stormwater quality in Brisbane.
  • Parker, N. (2010). Assessing the effectiveness of water sensitive urban design in South East Queensland. Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering, Queensland University of Technology. Master of Engineering: 235.

Cheers

Jack

Weeds and steam

Weeds and steam

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Hi everyone,

You've heard us talk about weed management in stormwater systems before on Ideanthro. Herbicide over spray can cause real problems, and we need a solution. 

For a while now I have been curious about steam weed control and its potential. On this episode, Jeremy Winer from Weedtechnics joins us to discuss weed control using steam (or more specifically, exceptionally hot water). This is the first time I have seen this method of weed control first hand (if you ignore the 10 seconds of something similar that I saw by accident in The Netherlands 16months ago) and therefore this episode is an initial exploration of the process on my part.

Cheers

Jack

Stormwater management - waste or resource

Stormwater management - waste or resource

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Hi everyone,

On this episode I had the pleasure of sitting down to chat with Mark Liebman from The Sustainability Workshop. The more water and urban design people I meet, the I realise the broad array and skills and perspectives that we have at our disposal to bring to bare on the issue of how to make our cities water sensitive. Mark is no exception.

In this episode Mark shares with me his thoughts on why we should manage stormwater as a resource (rather than a waste), and how the planning system we may need to change to facilitate this.

Cheers

Jack

How good... raingarden good

How good... raingarden good

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Hi there,

A well integrated raingarden inspires a conversation about cognitive biases in water sensitive urban design.

Cheers

Jack

The UK's sustainable urban drainage landscape

The UK's sustainable urban drainage landscape

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Hi there,

Recently I had the honour to speak with Bob Bray. Who's Bob Bray you ask? He's a landscape architect from the UK with a passion (and experience to match) for sustainable urban drainage systems (i.e. WSUD for the Brits).

All too often I speak from an Australian perspective about WSUD. It's heard not to. That's my experience of it. However, there is a lot to be learnt from looking at it from different perspectives. Sometimes there are huge similarities, sometimes there are differences. Both are informative. Both can inform our own WSUD practice. It's for this reason that I reached out to Bob to chat.

Thanks for taking the time mate!

Cheers

Jack

Conversing with giants

Conversing with giants

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Hi there!

Wow! Two hundred episodes. That has gone fast. 

We know what that means. Time to reflect and be grateful. Let's talk about the power of deep and thoughtful conversations in building a career and this thing we call water sensitive urban design. Such conversations have been invaluable for me.

Cheers

Jack

PS - see you at 300!

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