Engineers and planners: sustainable water management alliances

Potter, Karen; Ward, Sarah; Shaw, David; Macdonald, Neil; White, Iain; Fischer, Thomas; Butler, David and Kellagher, Richard (2011). Engineers and planners: sustainable water management alliances. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability, 164(ES4) pp. 239–247.



In the future, increasing pressure will inevitably be placed on the spatial planning system to improve its consideration of water management issues. Emerging challenges include designing for climatic extremes, reducing flood risk, managing increasingly scarce water resources and improving water quality. These issues need to be balanced with a range of other spatial planning priorities and objectives, including meeting new housing needs, facilitating economic growth, and creating and maintaining quality places. The sheer complexity of the issues surrounding water management and the impacts upon spatial planning mean that partnership working is essential to achieve an integrated approach. Planners need the expertise, and crucially the understanding, of engineers and hydrologists. However, there can be considerable misunderstanding and miscommunication between disciplines, often concerning the institutional context in which the various parties operate. A plethora of policies, tools and assessments exist, which can make integrated water management an overwhelming prospect for the planner. This paper attempts to identify and address some of the issues faced, as well as examining how planners embed hydrological issues in decision making and how engineers could better facilitate this.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions