Professor John Swaffield is the head of the School of the Built Environment and leads the Drainage Research Group at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland. He is chairman of the U.K. Water Regulations Advisory Committee of Defra from July 1996 to July 2003. He may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Within the history of the development of the drainage network design guides we now take for granted, there have been some celebrated differences of opinion that still have an impact on our design codes and general approaches to public health.
One of the issues that this column has addressed is the need for an interface between designers, practitioners, product manufacturers, code and governmental organizations, end users and research organizations.
The concept that it could actually rain more and that this should be the driver for a government invitation to universities to consider how research programs in the built environment should respond may appear somewhat bizarre.
September in the U.K. is the season for political and academic conferences, with highlights ranging from a speech by Bill Clinton to seminars on siphonic roof drainage and positive air pressure transients.