Public and private owners: getting the message across
Partners in the INTERREG IIIB project ‘Urban Water’ have adopted a number of different approaches and timescales to rainwater management within their communities. Some, particularly in Holland, have adopted disconnection at source, while others are using regional based approaches. All have a general requirement to reduce flooding, improve water qualities and increase the attractiveness of rivers. Because of the density of population in North West Europe, even small scale improvements to reduce the incremental effects of increasing paved areas are necessary. This paper makes comparisons between the different approaches to water and land management being adopted in the areas of the project partners, and the ways that solutions are being adopted within the context of public and private ownership. Most communities have developed showcase sites which give clear indications of what the possible improvements available are. These improvement projects which are within the local community generally create a good impression of stormwater management for local residents. All of the demonstration sites have multiple benefits which are much more than financial - for example they may include visual improvements and often provide increased space for leisure and amenity purposes. This makes it relatively easy to make a good case for the changes required for effective water management. The ways of convincing public bodies and companies are quite different and are based on regulatory approaches through the planning process. Large scale methods of addressing problems require catchment-wide solutions which are decided at a macro scale and generally require the involvement of regional governments. The public may then be consulted about the details of the solutions required. This paper considers of the issues involved in storm water management at public and private scales. The principles are first discussed and this is followed by key lessons from each of the project partner areas. Finally, conclusions on the different approaches are made.