A Field Approach for Comparing the Ecosystem Services From Suds and Non-Suds Ponds: Preliminary Results

Joy Jarvie, Scott Arthur, Lindsay Beevers

Tuesday 30 june 2015

11:00 - 11:15h at Amazon (level 1)

Themes: (T) Hydro-environment, (ST) Ecohydraulics and ecohydrology

Parallel session: 5G. Environment – Ecosystem

Sustainable Urban Drainage systems (SUDS) are engineering solutions with the intention to mimic natural systems. SUDS were introduced to Scotland in the early 1990s with the establishment of the Forth Purification Board, latterly known as SEPA, in 1994. Their design is based on the SUDS triangle which incorporates water quality, water quantity, and amenity drivers. Until recently, the main focus was diffuse pollution and how SUDS offered a unique opportunity for pollutant removal from urban and peri-urban water courses. Climate change has increased the awareness for SUDS in terms of the benefits for pluvial flood risk management. Very little, however, has been done to quantify the benefits from SUDS in terms of the three main pillars of sustainability: social, economic and environmental factors. The often overlooked component of the SUDS triangle is the amenity component, especially with respect to habitat. It is therefore the focus of this paper to make the connection between aquatic habitats (ponds and wetlands) and the amenity and biodiversity functions offered. Habitat is fundamentally important to SUDS and assessment of Ecosystem Services. Ecosystem Services refer to the end user benefits obtained from the environment. Very few studies, to date, assess the Ecosystem Services from SUDS- although attempts have been made from the social science studies in terms of conceptualising SUDS and Ecosystem Services (Lundy and Wade, 2011; Scholz and Uzomah, 2013) none have assigned a monetary value to these services. The main focus of this paper, therefore, is to highlight the importance of Ecosystem Services as part of the valuing process in SUDS. It will align well established techniques in hydro-ecology with monetary valuation using Contingent Valuation Methods (CVM). Methods and preliminary results will be presented, as well as the key lessons discovered during the experimental and field season phases. It is hoped that the study will allow for inter site comparisons to inform the environmental management and planning decisions- as well as providing a benchmark for future studies.