Urban Stormwater and Flood Management

  • Kevin Spence
  • Jonathan Bridge
  • Duncan McLuckie
  • Jaya KandasamyEmail author
Part of the Applied Environmental Science and Engineering for a Sustainable Future book series (AESE)


This chapter overviews floodplain and stormwater management from two separate jurisdictions that have different climate, geography and history though having a governance, heritage and culture that is similar. There appears to be an underlying challenge for urban flood and stormwater management to transform stormwater from a hazard to a resource and to control and absorb the effects of flooding through sophisticated, adaptable urban design, smart environmental monitoring infrastructure, land use planning, evacuation management and planning and early warning systems and educated, informed communities. The common obstacle, seen in this review of evidence from the UK and Australia, despite significantly differing environmental, historical and governance contexts, is the distributed nature of the problem and its possible solutions. Water suffers from a version of the ‘tragedy of the commons’ in which its position as a common good – or indeed, a common hazard – makes individual stakeholders reluctant or unable to participate in effective action to manage the whole system. However, the growing number of catchment partnerships and community-led flood management initiatives bring public and private stakeholders together with the water management problems they face and encourage them to take common ownership.


Floodplain management tormwater Policy Practice comparison Australia United Kingdom 



Annual Average Damage


Annual Exceedance Probability


Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience


Bureau of Transport and Economics


Catchment Flood Management Plans


Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


European Union


Floodplain Management Entity


Flood Planning Level


Floodplain Risk Management


Flood Risk Regulations (2009)


The Flood and Water Management Act (2010)


Lead Local Flood Authorities at local and regional scale


National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England


Natural Flood Management


New South Wales


Rainwater Harvesting


Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


Water Framework Directive


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Spence
    • 1
  • Jonathan Bridge
    • 1
  • Duncan McLuckie
    • 2
  • Jaya Kandasamy
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of the Natural and Built EnvironmentSheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK
  2. 2.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia

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