UDG Annual Conference Digital Series

The Urban Drainage Group Annual Conference, previously known as the UDG Autumn Conference, is the culmination of a year of highly regarded events across the whole industry, attracting speakers and delegates both nationally and internationally.

We know how this community values getting together and sharing its ideas on best practice, innovation and partnership working in urban drainage, so this autumn we are hosting a virtual technical conference instead. The event will run as a series of three digital sessions featuring keynote addresses, technical papers and panel discussions. We believe this format will be popular and sufficiently flexible for you to participate around your other commitments. The conference will include award of the WaPUG Prize in a new format.

UDG Annual Conference Programme

Please click on the + for more details about our programme and speakers.

Storm overflows & water quality + WaPUG Prize and Margetts Bursary Award

Policy options for storm overflows and the storm overflow taskforce | Juan Scouller, Defra

Defra understands the importance of working to reduce discharges of sewage into our rivers by ensuring storm overflows are only used when absolutely necessary. We have established a new Storm Overflows Taskforce comprising of Defra, the EA, Ofwat, Consumer Council for Water, Blueprint for Water and Water UK to set out clear proposals to reduce the frequency and volumes of spills. The Taskforce is also exploring further short term actions water companies can take to accelerate progress on storm overflows.

A broader vision for drainage and wastewater that is fit for an environmentally sustainable future | Adrian Johnson, Stantec

This paper will explore how a combination of features such as increasing our understanding of the impacts of intermittent discharges and climate change, more effective public engagement around causes and potential solutions, increased focus on source control and data-driven approaches, as well as some decentralisation of wastewater services and nature-based solutions could be brought together within a more holistic approach to water management. The use of tools such as CIRIA’s Benefits Evaluation Tool to help improve decision-making on the full range of impacts and benefits beyond traditional CBA will be discussed as well as experiences of novel approaches in other countries

Lessons learned from a large scale WFD programme | David Gordon, RPS & Richard Dannatt, Intertek

Severn Trent wanted a deeper understanding water quality on 32 river reaches. RPS and Intertek had to undertake model upgrades, asset surveys, flow surveys and quality monitoring. This project aims to protect and enhance the environment by gaining a better understanding of the real issues in water quality. This paper will review the various stages we have gone through and share some lessons learned. Throughout this project one of the key enablers was the stakeholder engagement and all the way through the project we have extensively consulted and involved the EA in the process.

NI Water’s Integrated Environmental Modelling (IEM) Programme – Dundrum Pilot Study | Andrew Harte, Northern Ireland Water

NI Water is working collaboratively with regulators and stakeholders in order to improve Water Framework Directive status by employing UK best practice modelling techniques under its Integrated Environmental Modelling (IEM) Programme. This programme will facilitate “catchment thinking” so that a common and integrated ethos to solution development is embedded as common practice and to promote greater flexibility in consenting policy through identification of the sources of pollution that are evidenced to be impairing water quality so that NI Water can invest in assets sustainably. Dundrum Bay is the first study in the programme - a small intertidal bay and protected Shellfish Water on the south–east coast of Northern Ireland in County Down, suffering from significant nutrient and faecal pollution from both human and diffuse sources of pollution. This paper will present an overview of the IEM Programme, the work undertaken in Dundrum, challenges encountered and some early findings.

WaPUG Prize | Urban Drainage Group Committee

Each year CIWEM Urban Drainage Group awards the WaPUG Prize at our annual conference in November. The prize is named in recognition of our predecessor organisation (WaPUG) which was founded to support the UK urban drainage management community in 1984 when modern planning approaches and models were in their infancy. The prize celebrates our rich heritage but also looks to celebrate the leaders and technologies of the future.

Margetts Bursary Award | CIWEM

The Margetts Bursary in Urban Drainage Engineering has been set up by CIWEM and RPS Environmental Management Ltd (RPS) to continue Jamie Margetts' work, by supporting young professionals (early career graduates, or final year undergraduates) to improve their capabilities in the field of urban drainage. The bursary is of a value of £3,000 with the purpose to provide financial support for a young professional to obtain a postgraduate qualification which can support a career in the field of urban drainage or to carry out a period of research-based study that would significantly contribute to their career development in the field of urban drainage.

Urban flooding

Integrated Urban Drainage Modelling Guidance | Richard Allitt, RAA Ltd

This presentation will give an update on progress with the CIWEM UDG Integrated Urban Drainage Modelling Guide. We will also give a quick run through of the structure and contents of the Guide. The Guide is at an advanced stage and we are hoping that the official launch will be in early 2021 – please watch out for further announcements.

Intensification of short-duration rainfall extremes and implications for flash flood risks | Dr Stephen Blenkinsop, Newcastle University

Extremes of precipitation cause flooding and droughts which can lead to substantial damages to infrastructure and ecosystems and can result in loss of life. Historical in situ sub-daily rainfall observations are essential for the understanding of short-duration rainfall extremes but records are typically not readily-accessible and data are often subject to errors and inhomogeneities. Furthermore, these events are poorly quantified in projections of future climate change, making adaptation to the risk of flash flooding problematic. Consequently, knowledge of the processes contributing to intense, short-duration rainfall is less complete compared with those on daily timescales.

The INTENSE project, part of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)'s Grand Challenge on 'Understanding and Predicting Weather and Climate Extremes', has used a novel and fully-integrated data-modelling approach to provide a step-change in our understanding of the nature and drivers of global sub-daily rainfall extremes and change on societally relevant timescales. This talk will present findings from the project on the intensification of sub-daily extremes, the drivers of these changes and the implications for UK flash flood hazard

Impact of climate change on the DWMP flood resilience measure | Martin Osborne & Gurjit Ghuman, WSP

Drainage and Wastewater Management Plans have brought in a new performance measure of the Flood Resilience Metric that estimates the number of properties at risk of flooding in a 1:50 annual probability rainfall event. A simple estimating method is included in the guidance using a buffer radius around each flooded manhole. A comparison of the OFWAT buffer method with 2D flood modelling showed that it significantly overestimated the number of properties at risk of flooding. We looked at whether inlet capacity restrictions would limit how much flow could get into the sewerage system during intense rainfall and so reduce flooding from the system and we assessed typical design capacities for roof drainage, road gullies and house gullies.

Developing Surface Water Warnings and data for the public and local authorities | Vicky Boorman, Borough of Hillingdon & John Griffiths, Kisters

Over the past two years, the London Borough Councils of Hillingdon and Croydon have identified areas of significant surface water flooding and have sought to innovate and improve their communities’ resilience by building their data resources, operational efficiency, creating smarter catchment management and share this with other organisations. KISTERS have worked closely with Hillingdon and Croydon councils to identify issues which a smarter catchment could resolve. This presentation will explain the drivers and issues which led to the collaboration and explanation of the system KISTERS have created, an online platform “Datasphere”. In collaboration with the Lead Local Flood Authorities they have enhanced this to enable parties to share data and form a comprehensive picture of surface water at key locations.

Digital technologies in urban drainage management

Pumping Stations: one’s and zero’s | Andy Bolden, Wessex Water

Donald Rumsfeld’s missed a category; the “unknown knowns”. This is data we know we have but which is never viewed or analysed, i.e. much of the telemetry archive. By using examples, the paper will show how an apparently unexciting data stream can reveal much about the catchment and the health of the pumping station, giving warning of developing issues before something fails, floods or spills. It will show how incomplete information from several sources can be combined to improve confidence while also recognising (and filtering for) limitations in the data stream. Experience gained can feed into machine learning applications.

Using artificial intelligence - Height Intelligence Tool (H.I.T) | Neil Nutt, Mott MacDonald

A step change is needed to lower costs and accelerate the slow and expensive protection of communities from the impacts of flooding. Through developing Height Intelligence Tool (HIT) Mott MacDonald is helping bring about the step change. The technology will negate the need for antiquated threshold surveys by using 21st century Artificial Intelligence with data that anyone anywhere in the world can capture via a smart phone. It will accelerate the promotion of flood risk management schemes, improve the nation’s prioritisation of investments and reduce project costs.

Addressing the challenge of network pollution through monitoring and analytics | Adam Smart, Stantec

Yorkshire Water has set itself a number of ambitious targets in some key linked to improving community and the environment such as pollution and internal/external flooding. The target for pollution is to reduce incidents by 50% between 2018 and 2025. This paper covers one initiative involving the installation of 1,000 low cost depth monitors within the sewer network and will outline the methodologies developed for installation and analysis. It will summarise the impact they have had in the 18 months since installation commenced and show the impact they have had in helping Yorkshire Water towards its pollution reduction target.

Embracing Ruby - Bridging the gap to the automated tomorrow | Jonathan Dowen, RPS

Every day budgets are becoming tighter, processes more complex and the data with it grows larger; the need to reach outcomes faster and more precisely remains ever important. Traditional approaches to problem solving are outdated and unable to keep up with these modern issues and expectations. Ruby has been a continuously evolving feature of InfoWorks and InfoAsset for many years that has progressed into an incredibly powerful automation platform. In this paper we will explore the opportunities that embracing Ruby brings, looking at key possibilities and impacts of such implementations alongside what else the future could hold for it.

Post-event report

Post-event digital report

Watch a short highlight video from the session, read follow up answers to some of the most popular audience questions from the day, and access additional resources provided by our speakers and sponsors.

Access our digital report

Urban Drainage Group Annual Conference Sponsors

Richard Allitt Associates Ltd has been providing expert urban drainage solutions since 1996. With headquarters in Sussex, the company opened a regional office in Altrincham in 2019. Offering specialist hydraulic modelling services, RAA has established itself as a leader in integrated catchment modelling and has been appointed by CIWEM and the Environment Agency to lead the update of the industry guidance on Integrated Urban Drainage.

As well as flood risk solutions, RAA also have an aerial survey division. Remote Aerial Surveys have been operating across multiple sectors including Water, Environment, Rail and Construction since 2014 offering high-quality, cost-effective survey, inspection, mapping and 3d modelling services.

Access our company video to learn more about us.

RPS is a leading global professional services firm. We define, design and manage projects that create shared value to a complex, urbanising and resource-scarce world. We work across six sectors: property, energy, transport, water, resources, defence and government services.

In the water sector we are proud to work with most of the water companies in England along with Welsh Water, Scottish Water, Irish Water and Northern Ireland Water.

We stand out for our clients by using deep expertise to solve problems that matter, making them easy to understand and by being easy to work with.

Read our brochure or access our Waternet Pro video to learn more about us.

GreenBlue Urban is the global leading solutions provider in assisting trees in their battle to establish in urban spaces. For over 30 years GreenBlue has drastically improved urban planting success and increased leaf canopy across the world.

Supported by their mission to enable sustainable cities through green and blue infrastructure, GreenBlue work alongside SUDS industry leaders to enable award winning projects with proven facts on reducing flow rates and improving water quality.

Innovative solutions and in-house expertise using the latest technologies will meet your needs to assist with the design and planning of stormwater solutions.

BMT is the specialist environmental consultancy behind the world-renowned software suite, TUFLOW, developed with a variety of 1D, 2D and 3D solvers for a range of applications including urban drainage. User driven development is at the heart of what we do and has led to the development of a range of sophisticated tools to simulate urban flooding as well as storm overflows and impacts upon water quality in receiving waters.

BMT work collaboratively with clients to provide clarity from complexity and are well experienced in the application of TUFLOW tools to solve intricate problems for global water utilities and government organisations.

Access our brochures and learn more about us.

Innovyze is a global leader in building innovative, industry-leading software for the water industry for over 35 years; serving thousands of clients including the largest utilities, ENR design firms, consultancies and refining plants around the world.

With unparalleled global expertise, the Innovyze connected portfolio of best-in-class AI & operational analytics, Asset Management, Drainage Design, Water Distribution, Stormwater, Sewer, and Flood Modelling solutions empower thousands of engineers to competitively plan, design, and manage, highly efficient and reliable infrastructure systems that provide an enduring platform for customer success.

Access our brochure and learn more about us.

Intertek's Energy and Water Team secures compliance, reduces cost and manages risk for our clients by helping them optimise asset performance from feasibility to decommissioning. We help water utilities and regulators understand the environmental impacts on aquatic systems -rivers, lakes, reservoirs, estuaries and coastal waters. We provide our clients with information and analysis that allows for targeted investment and safe and compliant delivery.

We have developed industry-leading tools and offer a range of services including integrated environmental modelling, compliance assessments, surveys, monitoring and laboratory water services that deliver measurable benefits to regulatory, environmental and engineering constraint challenges.

Have a look at our brochure to learn more about us.

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