Training Programme on Water Sensitive Urban Design and Planning

Date: September 9-11, 2019
Venue: Modimolle, South Africa 

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India in collaboration with Water Research Commission (WRC), South Africa and Future Water Institute, University of Cape Town (UCT) conducted a three day training programme on “Water Sensitive Urban Design and Planning (WSUDP)” from 9th – 11th September, 2019. 

The three day training programme included a mix of theory, practical sessions and it was conducted based on state of the art teaching – learning tools consisting of interactive sessions, experiential learning using detailed case studies, working in groups on planning and designing and class room lectures. 

The programme included diverse group of 25 participants from different background and different organisations including engineers from Department of Water and Sanitation, municipal engineers, consultants and researchers from universities.

List of participants click here

The programme was inaugurated by Mr Jayant Bhagwan, WRC. He briefly introduced the training programmeand provided context for WSUDP in South Africa. Following this, MrBhitushLuthra, CSE and Dr Kirsty Carden, UCT introduced CSE and UCT respectively. They talked about the principles of their respective organisations and respective areas of work.

The first day was focused on the concept of WSUDP, its need in South African cities and the SUDS framework, which was discussed in detail by Dr Kirsty. Sheexposed the participants to the issues and challenges in managing water resources in urban areas and solutions of managing storm water at source, local and regional scale. She followed up with a session onSUDS system which talks aboutreduced velocity and peak flow and improved quality of urban runoff, a move away from typical victorian drainage design. The session on SUDS was supported by a documentary ‘Designs that hold water’ and a short brainstorming exercise.

Taking the day forward, CSE discussed implementation of various WSUDP interventions at different scales and varying land uses. The session was supported by research and case studies implemented in India. These provided a broad range of interventions on rainwater harvesting (RWH), stormwater management and re-use of treated wastewaterfor different objectives, and varying technologies.

Day 2 started with a reflection session in which participants were divided in four groups, and they presented on the learnings and highlights of the previous day. Moving forward, CSE conducted a session on data requirements for designing water sensitive urban areas, where she focussed on what data is to be collected, their sources and possible analyses and outcomes of various data heads for designing RWH, DWWTs and SUDS features. This session was supported by a group exercise on data collection. The participants were divided in four groups and allocated different land uses: a school, a residential house, a township and a resort. Each group was required to present the data collection checklist for designing WSUDP interventions in their respective land uses.

This was followed by session on Design of Water Sensitive Urban Areas conducted by CSE. The session was focussed on design principles, techniques, thumb rules and opportunity areas for siting a WSUDP intervention. Design of RWH and SUDS systems was discussed by Ms Shivali and the design of a typical decentralised wastewater treatment system (DWWTS) was discussed by Mr Bhitush.

Moving on, case examples of best management practices of various aspects of WSUDP was illustrated through documentaries. The sessions focused on planning, designing and implementation strategies for SUDS, RWH and Decentralised wastewater management through Septic Tanks, Anaerobic Filters and DWWTS.

This was followed by a session on South African experience of WSUDP and SUDS, which was conducted by UCT. The focus was on the objectives of various case studies, implementation and learnings of the same. The day was concluded by a session on Operation, Maintenance (O&M) and Feasibility of WSUDP interventions, by CSE. The session focussed onvarious O&M activities and scheduling for the same for RWH and DWWTS systems.The session was supported by a brainstorming exercise.

The objective of Day 3 of the training was to provide hands-on experience to participants through the Do-It-Yourself exercise. Participants were divided into four groups, and were required to frame a vision and strategies for implementation of WSUDP interventions at various scales for City 'X'. Supporting date was provided, which included Land Use, meteorological data, basic demography, hydro-geological data, Sector Plans and Layout Plans, etc. The exercise was concluded with a group presentation.

The training was closed with a round of feedback and certificate distribution. The participants commended CSE, WRC and UCT’s efforts in putting together a comprehensive training programme. They particularly appreciated the hands-on exercises and practical sessions for better learning. 

For further information please contact:

Dr Suresh Kumar Rohilla
Senior Director, CSE, New Delhi, India

Ms ShivaliJainer
Programme Manager, CSE, New Delhi, India

Mr Dhruv Pasricha
Sr. Research Associate, CSE, New Delhi, India

Local host and partner:

Mr Jay Bhagwan
Execute Manager, WRC, South Africa

DrKirsty Carden
Research Coordinator, Future Water Institute
UCT, South Africa


Feedback from Participants

‘Everything was quite informative and practical. Unlike other trainings, In this training we got an opportunity to do practicals, involved in designing our own options, given different scenarios which helped us a lot. By doing all this activity, we are able to understand much better and it will be easier to apply. Thank you very much and we have learned a lot’

Neggie Bakwunye, GDARD
‘The training is very useful for us. It’s an eye-opener for what the future holds; what means could be explored other than normal conventional processes in place. The training was excellent. Thank you’

Loyin Rajkumar, Ethekwini Municipality
‘Really appreciated the section on SUDS and DWWTS. Thank you very much for your effort’

Rudolf Opperman, National Regulator of Compulsory Specifications, South Africa
‘The training was informative and provided practical experience’

Sandra Ramaphala, ModimolleMookgophong Local Municipality
‘All modules are very useful to my Municipality’

Matome Modimola, ModimolleMookgophong Local Municipality