An initiative to promote forward thinking.

In 2012, the independent Climate Change Committee estimated that flood damage from surface water run-off could increase by more than 200% over the next 50 years.

To combat this, ICE and Wavin are working together to promote forward thinking to find better, more cost effective and sustainable ways to manage the rise of excess surface water.

Sustainable Drainage Systems

Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are a technical solution to the increasing problem of excess surface water. Originally used in urban areas, they are now used for some roads and towns in rural areas.

SuDS are always site specific, and require bespoke design that take into account the underlying hydrology, functional purposes of the area, and the present and future needs of people using the area.

SuDS – perception and progress: a comparison of England and Wales

ICE and Wavin researched the perception and progress of SuDS in England and Wales and will release a whitepaper providing insights around challenges and new opportunities for adoption and implementation of SuDS.

The whitepaper will:

  • Delve into engineers’ experience in understanding both the opportunities and challenges that new regulation pose in delivering effective SuDS in practice
  • Share professionals’ experience of the new guidance and regulations introduced in Wales recently, and identify possible areas for improvement
  • Explore perceptions surrounding current issues in the design and implementation of site-specific and multi-functional SuDS

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A digital copy of the whitepaper will be released through the Wavin Spotlight campaign. Pre-register now to receive the whitepaper as soon as it is released.


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    After over a decade of inaction, it looks like SuDS may be going mainstream. A recent ICE 'Design Sprint' workshop in Leeds looked at what could be done to encourage uptake. Landscape Architect Bill Blackledge gives a personal view.

  • A day in the life of a one-day 'design sprint'

    Anna Plodowski and George Kalathil discuss the ICE/Wavin design sprint and how the innovative use of ‘design thinking’ could potentially lead to new solutions that allow for better management of surface water.

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Finding better ways to manage surface water

ICE-Wavin SuDS agile sprint, London

ICE-Wavin design sprint
ICE-Wavin agile sprint

ICE and Wavin delivered a forward-thinking agile sprint on 5 December focused on surface water management and SuDS.

The event challenged delegates to come up with four concepts that show fresh thinking and inform the debate on how to find effective SuDS solutions for excess surface water.

"Congratulations on a successful agile sprint. It was well organised, interactive, beneficial to the water industry and an enjoyable day”

Mei Fun, Principal Engineer (Water) – Infrastructure, Atkins

Download resources

  • Watch the design sprint overview

    2 min

    Through creative thinking and idea generation, we tasked our delegates at the ICE-Wavin SuDS Design Sprint to come up with new ideas and solutions.

  • Hear about how to solve the challenges around managing excess surface water

    2 min

    ICE-Wavin SuDS Design Sprint design sprint delegates discuss ideas for solving the challenges involved in managing excess surface water.

  • Watch the full event recording

    42 min

    At the ICE-Wavin SUDS Design Sprint representatives from across the water industry came up with new concepts. This video walks you through the day’s activities of collaborative discussion, ideation and proposal refinement.

ICE-Wavin SuDS agile sprint, Leeds

ICE-Wavin agile sprint in Leeds
ICE-Wavin agile sprint in Leeds

ICE and water knowledge partner Wavin gathered forty delegates in Leeds at the second event in a series of forward-thinking agile sprints on sustainable drainage.

Representatives from across the industry worked together to address common challenges and generate new ideas for finding better ways for managing surface water.

"The sprint was just that - a quick dash through the issues around SuDS, particularly focussing on people's understanding of what SuDS are, how they help in the context of climate change and increased flooding, why they should be supported and how that support might be encouraged. It was great to talk with a wide cross-section of professionals, developers, local authority officers and industry experts, to find the common ground in our thinking. Essentially, we all believe it is vitally important, we all want to support it, and we have to find ways to make it the norm, not the exception”

Bill Blackledge, Managing Director, 2B Landscape Consultancy

Download resources

Featured Event

SuDS – perception and progress: a comparison of England and Wales

16 July 2019

SuDS – perception and progress

Join us for an online discussion highlighting the key findings of our research project and be among the first professionals to access the whitepaper and get new insights including industry statistics and new guidance advice.

Book now

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