Urban Drainage Group

Our vision and aims

The CIWEM Urban Drainage Group (UDG) sustains the excellence of people professionally engaged in urban drainage management now and for future generations. It continues the work of WaPUG which was established in 1984.

The aims and objectives of the Urban Drainage Group are aligned with CIWEM’s Royal Charter. They are to:

  • Advance the science and practice of urban drainage management for the public benefit.
  • Promote education, training, study and research in urban drainage management and to publish the results of such research.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate standards of competence for urban drainage management Professionals.

Please contact us at udg@ciwem.org


Download UDG Aims and Objectives

The Urban Drainage Group and its predecessor WaPUG have a long history of providing guidance to assist the industry to follow best practice. Please find some publications below.

  • Code of Practice for the Hydraulic Modelling of Urban Drainage Systems: this best practice guide was updated in 2017 following significant upgrading with engagement with all UK water utility companies. It covers project definition; data collection; model development; verification; model confidence; application of model; documentation and model management.
  • UDG rainfall guide: published in 2016 this guide supplements the main modelling guide and provides background to various options for representing rainfall in modelling and provides guidance. This aspect of modelling is anticipated to change more frequently than other aspects due to improved climate change predictions; developments in telemetry and radar technology and improved technologies of handling and analysing large data sets. Therefore this guide is separate for the main guide to allow more frequent updates.
  • Event duration modelling good practice guide: this guide published in 2016 collates good practice on Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) monitoring.
  • Guide to quality modelling of sewer systems: this guide published in 2006 provides guidance of the production of sewer quality modelling. It supplements the Code of Practice which addresses hydraulic modelling which is the basis of sewer quality models. The modelling of the impact on rivers can be found in the WAPUG River Modelling Guide. Guidance on how these models fit within the framework of Urban Pollution Management can be found in the Urban Pollution Management (UPM) Manual (FWR 1998).
  • Integrated urban drainage modelling guide: published in 2009 this guide outlines the different types of modelling approaches taken to model the urban drainage system and how it interacts with the wider water environment. It follows a similar layout to the Code of Practice covering Project planning; Data collection; Integrated Modelling Methods; Verification; Reporting. This report is currently under review for updating.
  • River data collection guide: published in 1998 this guide outlines the data collection requirements for a UPM study and supplements the River Modelling Guide.
  • River modelling guide: published in 1998 this guide provides guidance of river modelling for use in UPM studies. This report is currently under review for updating.
  • The design of CSO chambers to incorporate screens: latest publication in 2006 this guide sets out current best practice in the design of new CSO chambers to meet aesthetic regulatory requirements using screens. It is aimed primarily at design engineers but it should also prove valuable to environmental regulators, operations personnel, sewer network modellers and drainage area planners.


Here are useful summaries of comment details of how to approach modelling specific more complex elements. These were reviewed and rationalised in 2009. They are generated by the group community and further contributions are welcome, please get in touch with the committee if you wish to add any new ones.


Past Papers from the Urban Drainage Group can be access at the following link: http://ftp2.ciwem.org

If you have any questions please get in touch with Fiona Barbour at Fiona.Barbour@mottmac.com.

UDG community page

Get more involved with the Urban Drainage Group! For the latest announcements and discussions, please visit your UDG community page by logging into your account.

Log in here

UDG New Members Development community page

This is a page for all people working towards becoming a qualified member of CIWEM. We are hoping this would be an opportunity to have discussions on key topics; keep up to date with events and activities relevant to those in training; and ask questions of senior members of the UDG communities.

There is a recognition that many members in the UDG community have the same challenges in completing their competencies, and sharing examples of how these objectives are met can help overcome these hurdles. The value of this page will increase with use, so do contribute.

If you have suggestions on how to improve this page please contact James Hale james.hale@rpsgroup.com or Fiona Barbour fiona.barbour@mottmac.com.


Log in here

Our committee

Committee Member Vacancies 2021


The CIWEM Urban Drainage Group (UDG) sustains the excellence of people professionally engaged in urban drainage management now and for future generations. We are driven forward by a committee of motivated individuals who represent our industry and our members. From January 2022 we will have some openings for some roles and are excited to find our next committee members – could it be you?

Nominations are sought to fill three positions on the Committee from employees of a Sewerage Undertaker in the UK or Republic of Ireland. Nominees would ideally have recent experience in Operational, Data Scientist or Modelling roles within an urban drainage management context.

We are also looking for nominations for someone who is passionate about urban drainage and particularly experienced in the field of blue-green infrastructure, as we recognise this as a key growth area in our industry but is currently under represented on our committee. A candidate from a Lead Local Flood Authority or a Landscape Architect would be particularly well suited to the role.

All positions would commence from January 2022 for a minimum period of 3 years. Nominees for the committee would ideally have recent experience in supporting UDG activities and must be a Member of CIWEM (at any grade). Typical commitments for a UDG Committee member include;

  • Maintain your CIWEM membership (any grade/level)
  • Attendance at two day-long and committee meetings annually at venues throughout the UK and a further two 1-2 hour meetings which are held virtually.
  • Attend at least 2 conference events (fee is waived)
  • Contribute ad hoc to running of UDG - through engagement in sub-group activities
  • Be an advocate for CIWEM and UDG in your company with your clients, collaborators and suppliers, and for the practice of Urban Drainage Management in your community and at work

Nominees should email the Honorary Secretary (ian.lang@atkinsglobal.com) before close of business on 20th September 2021 detailing: their experience and industry leadership skills; how they will contribute to delivering CIWEM UDG’s aims and objectives; and the names of two sponsoring CIWEM UDG members.

If more conforming nominations are received for either role than positions available then a ballot of all members will be organised by the Honorary Secretary. The candidate(s) who receive the greatest number of votes for the position(s) shall be elected to fill the position(s) and the results announced at the next Annual General Meeting which will be held during the Annual Conference on Thursday 11th November and on the UDG page of the CIWEM Website.

If potential nominees would like further information about the role and the level of commitment required then please contact the Chairman (Kieran.Downey@scottishwater.co.uk) or any committee member for further information.

Diary Dates 2021

UDG Annual Virtual Conference and Expo 2021

9-11 November 2021


CIWEM’s Urban Drainage Group continues it long traditional of hosting its annual conference in the autumn as the culmination of a year of highly regarded virtual events across the whole industry, attracting speakers and delegates both nationally and internationally.

With the upcoming COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this Autumn and the continuing development of Drainage and Wastewater Management Plans in mind, our theme centres around our response to quantifying and more importantly managing Climate Change and adapting our solutions to be both resilient and meet Net Zero challenges related to urban drainage management.

This autumn we are again hosting a virtual technical conference, building on the success of last year and our attendance at the recent CIWEM Flood & Coast event we will be providing an experience as closely matched to our traditional physical event as possible.

We recognise how our community values getting together and sharing its ideas on best practice, innovation and partnership working in urban drainage and will be delivering a packed agenda of CPD-accredited panel sessions, technical papers, panel discussion, and, returning this year, workshops. In addition, we will be hosting a virtual exhibition to enable our sponsors and delegates to interact and share the experience.

We are pleased to announce that this year's conference will take place on the Hopin platform. The platform is designed to feel like an in-person event — not only will delegates be able to interact with speakers through the live Q&A and sessions but with fellow delegates, too. As a delegate you will be able to take part in group work, share your views through the chat, take part in speed-networking and arrange meetings with fellow delegates. We hope you will enjoy this new platform but most importantly, we hope you enjoy the content.

The conference will include the award of the WaPUG Prize 2021.


Prices (inclusive of local taxes, where applicable):

  • Single day ticket: £36
  • Full ticket for all three days: £72
  • Sponsorship and expo booth: £1,800

For sponsorship enquiries, please email events@ciwem.org


Call for papers

Here is an opportunity for you to get involved in the technical conference. To help CIWEM develop a compelling and diverse programme we want to hear about your conference paper/presentation proposals.

Please see the attached pdf document for details of the topics being covered and about how to prepare and submit an abstract.

Email your abstract(s) to jonathan.cutting@wsp.com before 5:00 pm on Friday 17 September 2021.

CIWEM Urban Drainage Virtual Annual Conference and Expo 2021 | Call for papers

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Inviting nominations for the WaPUG Prize 2021

Each year CIWEM Urban Drainage Group awards the WaPUG Prize at our annual conference in November. The prize is named in recognition 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.

We make the award to an individual, project or team who has either:

  • an established history of distinguished service in the field of urban drainage;
  • made a lasting contribution to urban drainage practice, through development of tools or process, or the delivery of enhancements;
  • exhibited leadership and inspiration to other urban drainage practitioners;
  • influenced urban drainage issues and policy on a national level;
  • delivered a significant urban drainage solution, demonstrating innovation and excellence;
  • delivered innovation that has led to a step change in the way urban drainage issues are approached.

Proposers should provide an evidence based narrative, of not more than 1 page in length, setting out the justifications for the nomination. If you are nominating yourself or own project/team then please seek and state an independent endorsement of your application.

We will again seek the input of our membership to select the winner of this prestigious award from a short-list created by the committee. This will take place through a voting process to be undertaken during September/October.

The winner receives a handsome trophy, however due to the current Covid-19 circumstances this will be announced at the virtual AGM to be held on 9-11 November 2021 as part of the UDG Annual Conference. The intention is for the winner to be a guest of the Urban Drainage Group at the CIWEM Annual Dinner in 2022 and at our annual conference in November in 2022.

Nominations should be via email to the Urban Drainage Group secretary (Ian.Lang@atkinsglobal.com) before 9th July 2021.

The Margetts Bursary in Urban Drainage Engineering 

The Margetts Bursary in Urban Drainage Engineering bursary is sponsored by CIWEM and RPS Environmental Management Ltd (RPS) to recognise the significant contributions made by Jamie Margetts in the field of urban drainage engineering, both in the UK and internationally.

Jamie was a technical director of RPS and chaired CIWEM’s Urban Drainage Group at the time of his death. As well as being part of the team that developed one of the UK’s most innovative Urban Drainage consultancies he made significant contributions to raising the technical capabilities of the UK Urban Drainage community. In particular, he always placed great emphasis on the education, mentoring and training of young urban drainage professionals.

This bursary has been set up to continue this 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, and will be awarded annually.

The purpose of the bursary is to:

  • To provide financial support for a young professional to obtain a postgraduate qualification which can support a career in the field of urban drainage.
  • To provide financial support to allow a young professional to carry out a period of research-based study that would significantly contribute to their career development in the field of urban drainage.
Go to awards page

With thanks to our 2020 event sponsors:

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