Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Should SuDS be renamed?

Wetland scientists really do have the most exciting conversations -  for example a recent discussion in our labs involved whether SuDS should be renamed.

SuDS, stand for Sustainable Drainage Systems, or Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, if you prefer the uppercase 'U' acronym.

The term encompasses a whole range of practices and developments to drain surface water in a more controlled manner than standard drains.

Their use and application is increasing in many countries, including the UK where flooding is considered a growing problem.

Many SuDS feature wetland systems to control water flows and even treat runoff  by removing harmful pollutants.

However, as wetland scientists we feel that the term 'wetlands' is not given enough prominence or credit when SuDS are referred to.

Then again, we often think this about anything that doesn't praise wetlands enough!

Anyway, we'd like SuDS which include wetland systems to be given their very own classification.

After many hours of intense debate we came up with a new term to include all such SuDS and wetlands which are built to be used to aid drainage of surface water in some way.

We propose such a wetland should be called a Constructed Drainage Wetland (CDW).

Catchy (-ish) and goes with a range of other, more established, wetland classifications such as Constructed Farm Wetland (CFW), and Constructed Treatment Wetland (CTW).

Admittedly, not really a renaming of SuDS - just a tweaking of sub-categories to give wetlands the credit they deserve!

1 comment:

Richard M Ashley said...

Oh dear! Not yet another term. I've been all thru this for the terminology paper we published last year in Urban Water journal and again for the CIRIA WSUD project. There are already too many terms and we concluded that culturally and locality specific terms were fine provided these were defined from the outset and understood. Can you not please try to get the current terms better understood instead. I hate the term SuDS/SUDS as it's misleading but we cannot and should not reinvent it. Rather make sure it is understood.