Increasing population growth and urbanization trends, rising water demand, aging infrastructure and increasingly severe weather events triggered by climate change are some of the key risks facing the water supplies of municipalities around the world. Each of those issues puts people, communities and key infrastructure at risk, while their collective threats present numerous and complex challenges to stakeholders.

With the likelihood of a future filled with climate threats and extreme weather events—including more frequent and more powerful storms, sea level rise and flood events—policy makers, city planners, government authorities, municipalities and utilities need to move toward a greater understanding of the risk impacts to public health, property, infrastructure, economies and the environment. WSP approaches water risk management from a future-ready perspective, with services and solutions focused on all parts of the ecosystem to ensure the quality and quantity of earth’s most precious resource. 

Resilience is about managing existing and future risks—preparing for the risks and consequences, understanding where the risks lay, identifying critical and vulnerable points, and taking the steps to integrate resiliency into the planning process. Investment in water and waste water infrastructure is also required to further improve the resiliency of key infrastructure. Building stronger and better than before is crucial to protecting communities and infrastructure assets, and to maintaining our society’s operational normalcy and efficiency.

WSP has developed unique expertise in the assessment and improvement of water and waste water supply resiliency. Behavioural scientists at WSP in New Zealand specialize in providing stakeholders with a clear understanding of the effects of natural disasters on communities, while combining that understanding with engineering techniques to develop robust solutions and develop important industry guidelines.

WSP in New Zealand has also advanced the state of the art through its Environmental Training Centre, where specialized industry experts and working consultants provide training to water and waste water plant operators in areas such as water risk management, asset management, water supply distribution, water and waste water treatment, and more.

Globally, WSP is well positioned to establish collaborative teams that operate both locally and globally to plan and engineer solutions for managing risk in the water sector. Our skilled team members excel in managing the public health aspects of water supplies, thus ensuring that water is safe for our communities.

Stormwater Management

WSP helps municipalities manage and dispose of stormwater by developing solutions specifically tailored to their needs. Each development requires a proper stormwater management plan that not only complies with the requirements of local authorities, but also enhances the environment and remains cost-effective.

Across the world, WSP has delivered stormwater best practices and control technologies, and green stormwater infrastructure planning, analysis and design. We have designed stormwater management plans and engineered storm sewers, open and piped drainage systems and stormwater storage systems for cities, towns, highways and transit systems. WSP also has the necessary expertise to implement separate sewage systems and increase the capacity of combined systems. Our team is experienced with various types of holding reservoirs and has developed runoff management systems for reducing stormwater flows.

WSP offers comprehensive modelling and planning capabilities. We use the latest in computer simulation tools to simulate sewer system behaviour and to predict runoff quantity and characteristics for the development of cost-effective stormwater and waste water overflow mitigation measures.

With a full understanding of stormwater management regulations and industry standards, we have provided design services for many advanced stormwater detention facilities, helping our clients to define and respond to stormwater threats and to develop management practices that address water quality issues. We have also contributed to stream restoration and protection, as well as projects that use wetlands to mitigate the adverse impact of stormwater.

Flood Risk Management

Climate uncertainties have altered both precipitation and coastal storm surge, both in frequency and intensity. Floods can be caused by extreme precipitation, high currents, dust fractures, high sea levels and deficiencies in existing drainage systems. The exploitation of new areas often leads to increased runoff and changed waterways. Consequently, the flood risk to communities is likely to increase dramatically. To create sustainable water drainage, planning is required at an early stage.

WSP has assisted municipalities and other public and private sector companies worldwide with flood studies and strategies for managing and protecting against high flows and water levels, dust fractures and clouds, both for existing and future scenarios.

From the outset of a project, our team has the expertise to design, advise on and monitor all flood risk-related issues. We offer a full range of technical and management services, from analytical modelling and in-channel design, to strategic planning and construction supervision. 

WSP’s water resource and hydraulic specialists are experienced with a variety of flood control and conveyance facilities including levees, dams, canals, pump stations, detention basins and impoundments, as well as intake, flow diversion and outlet structures. Combining in-depth hydrologic and hydraulic engineering knowledge with our extensive experience, we assist municipalities in safeguarding their communities and preventing loss of life and property.


 WSP stormwater management and flood risk management services include:

  • Stormwater management planning

  • Drainage analysis and infrastructure improvement design

  • Hydrologic and hydraulic design

  • Hydrotechnical engineering

  • Complex coastal and riverine hydrologic and hydraulic modelling

  • Fluvial geomorphology

  • Vulnerability assessments and hazard planning

  • Comprehensive watershed study design

  • Stormwater best management practice design and inspection

  • Erosion and sediment control planning

  • Flood insurance studies

  • Map maintenance requests and map modernization initiatives

  • Riverine and coastal post-flood hazard verification

  • Flood control structure design and inspection

  • Flood risk assessment

  • Floodplain analysis, management,  and flood forecasting

  • Flood defence breach analyses

  • Risk, cost and benefit analyses

  • Coastal and inland flood protection systems design

  • Climate adaptive engineering and asset management

  • Climate adaptation plans and preliminary studies