Resilience

Our changing climate means that there will be increasingly unpredictable events such as flooding, drought, heatwaves and bushfires. By building the ability of our communities to not only withstand these impacts, but also to understand how we all play a role in developing better cities will help us to improve outcomes in response to these system shocks.

How does Living Waterways measure contributions to resilience? Stormwater management systems can contribute to building resilience of desirable elements of the social-ecological system. The Living Waterways framework promotes and rewards the inclusion of design elements that strengthen our capacity to adapt to threats such as climate change. Points are awarded for projects that help to improve the resilience of interdependent societies and ecosystems. The Stockholm Resilience Centre proposes seven principles for improving the resilience of interdependent societies and ecosystems.

1. Maintain diversity and redundancy

Systems with more, diverse sources and components are more resilient to changes in environmental conditions e.g. longer dryer period, more intense rainfall. If one part of an urban stormwater system fails another will continue, which can prevent decline in waterway health, or risks to health or property resulting from a decline in services provided by waterways. Systems with multiple water sources eg potable, stormwater harvesting, sewer mining can supplement sources that fail or are in decline.

2. Manage connectivity

Well-connected systems recover from environmental disturbances more quickly, however systems that are too well connected can more effectively deliver shocks and impacts more efficiently. Technological advances can assist with rapid notification of events and information sharing about natural systems. Avoiding directly connected impervious surfaces reduces hydrologic impacts on waterway health. Connectivity can also negatively impact on waterway health via weed propagation and therefore needs to be managed.

3. Manage slow variables and feedbacks

Systems where impacts that are hard to see or delayed, are managed, ensuring that the system doesn’t change to a worse state that can be unrecoverable. In places valued and frequented by the community, changes are observed on a daily basis and unwelcome changes are more easily identified e.g. community may notice any changes in water quality (or quantity) that may impact the system. Installation of constructed wetlands manage input of nutrients to receiving environments.

4. Foster complex adaptive systems thinking

Valuing different perspectives to generate an understanding of the system as a whole, embracing complexity and unpredictability. Understanding the diversity of values and threats upstream and downstream of assets. Encouraging continuous improvement of management systems.

5. Encourage learning

Promote continuous and collaborative learning, not only for our community but also designers, assessors and decision-makers. Design of a process and/or outcomes that encourage calculated risk-taking and engagement with water. Innovative solutions are encouraged.

6. Broaden participation

Collective action is enabled by shared understanding through participatory processes. Traditional owners and the general community contribute to the design process. This can tap into the collective wisdom but also encourage waterway stewardship.

7. Promote polycentric governance systems

Decision-making occurs across and between institutions enabling adaptive management. A process is established for decision-makers to assess the value of a project across multiple areas of funding or regulation.

 For more information from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, see here and here

There are many opportunities within the framework for projects to contribute to the resilience principles described above, as shown in the table below.

This module automatically calculates based on input provided in Scoring worksheet.
Resilience principles 1. Diversity and redundancy 2. Manage connectivity 3. Manage slow variables 4. Foster adaptive thinking 5. Encourage learning 6. Broaden participation 7. Promote polycentric governance
LW1 STORMWATER QUALITY 2
LW2 EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL 2
LW3 MAINTAIN NATURAL HYDROLOGY 1 2
LW4 PERVIOUS SURFACES 1 1 1
LW5 WATER HARVESTING 2 1 1 1 1
LE1 PROTECT RIPARIAN AND AQUATIC HABITAT 2 1
LE2 PROTECT BIODIVERSITY VALUES 2 1
LE3 BIODIVERSITY REHABILITATION AND ENHANCEMENT 2 2 1
LE4 SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPED AREAS 1 1 1
LC1 ENHANCED AMENITY 1 1
LC2 RANGES OF EXPERIENCES 1 1 1 1
LC3 INTEGRATED EDUCATION 1 2
LC4 NATURAL, HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL IDENTITY 1 1 1
LC5 SOCIAL TIES 1 1 1
LC6 OUTDOOR CONTEMPLATIVE VALUES 1 1
LC7 HEALTHY LIVING 1 1
LC8 SAFE AND WELCOMING PLACES 1 1
LLE1 WHOLE OF LIFE COSTS 1 1
LLE2 MAINTENANCE AND ACCESS 1 1 1 1
LLE3 CIRCULAR ECONOMIES 1 1 1