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The idea behind SuDS is to minimise surface runoff by using infiltration at source, where possible, and control surface water as close to its source as possible. In other words, SuDS are seen as a technical solution to the problem of excess surface water. There are other elements to SuDS, however. For example, SuDS help to promote the biodiversity of the ecosystem, improve the balance of the ground water hydrological system using controlled discharge methods, help to remove geo-environmental constraints in flood management, promote conservation and landscape objectives as well as reduce toxic contamination of the water course. My experience from working in the flood resilience and water industry has shown that creating a balance between these different elements and uses can be difficult due to their conflicting needs. Therefore, understanding the interdependencies between the elements of SuDS is a first step to maximising the benefits and minimising the conflict.
Since starting work as a Civil Engineer, I have been involved with many varied flood hydraulics projects, primarily focusing on fluvial and pluvial flood alleviation. I have worked on the analytical assessment of flood related problem and the preparation of a detailed report and recommendations to alleviate the problem. I have acted as an engineer and project lead/manager on river re-engineering and environmental improvement schemes
I consult for the planning departments of councils regarding the flood risk assessment; I attend planning consultation meetings and review the flood risk assessments and surface water management plan of developers and approve the suitability of the proposed solution.