Journey of a raindrop: 2050

As a business, we are proud to take an active role in supporting the Flood & Coast conference, the largest gathering of the flood and coastal erosion risk management (FCERM) community in England. We recognise that for our staff, being part of these events is integral to their career development, so this year, we launched a competition for pre-chartered staff to win a ticket to attend this year’s event, which took place in Telford from 7–9 June, and to join us at the Project Excellence Awards Dinner. We asked them to prepare a 300-word blog/ thought leadership piece on the future of flood and coastal risk management in “a climate-resilient net zero world”, emulating the theme of the conference.

As Hannah Coogan, Binnies Regional Delivery Director and Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) Trustee, explains, “This was a brilliant and exciting opportunity for our pre-chartered engineers to share their thoughts and perspectives on what the future of flood and coastal risk management should look like. Sharing thought leadership pieces is an excellent way to be part of the change you would like to see by stimulating industry discussion and action.”

Graham Campbell’s winning entry, titled “Journey of a raindrop: 2050”, was an original and thought-provoking presentation describing the different journeys a raindrop could take through a catchment. The first raindrop travelled through a catchment via a conventional hard engineering drainage solution where it met all sorts of pollutants along the way, whereas a second raindrop travelled through a catchment utilising sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) solutions, which illustrated the benefits and value of nature-based solutions. Each judge commented that this would make a brilliant video, so our team created a fun animation bringing Graham’s story to life. The video was a talking point at our stand at Flood & Coast.

Graham said, ”The brief for the competition was challenging and it took me a few attempts to strike the right note and meet the short word limit; luckily the journey of a raindrop occurred to me during a eureka moment! I hope the piece demonstrates the potential environmental improvement available to designers and practitioners. I found the Flood & Coast 2022 conference extremely valuable in terms of professional development.”

Other high-quality entries were received from across the business, demonstrating that our staff embody the Binnies sense of purpose: Enhancing lives, communities and the environment.

The full text of Graham’s entry

Whoosh…here we go again – another trip round the cycle – what sort of voyage will I be on this time? Like we always say – “let’s cause pain or gain – whichever they have set up for us”. Last time it was the conventional path; seconds after hitting the roof I was descending the downpipe and discharged onto Norm Street. Equally as rapidly I was into the gully-pot and out through the overflow, calling “hey” to the others trapped under the oils, bad life. Shortly I was in the big swell, cruising down the underground; I had been part of a big load this time, so it got busy and hit a surcharge, a load of us got into some houses and caused trouble, all got very murky. Later I heard some pumps, and the rest was a bit of a blur – I was shooting from a headwall into the river. We were with some heavy metal nasties on the way…taking down some of our guys. Further down the river I met up with an old timer from a few drops back, she’d been on a SuDS path which I had just missed out on. She had spent a while in the sand filter of some permeable paving, she was praising the people that kept her high on that journey. Afterwards she was transferred into a well planted soil, spending a while amongst the roots and fibres – even said there were kids skipping over. She left loads of baddies behind before getting a nice push through a swale following a downpour. Some have all the luck – ended up in a bit of bioretention! Found her way into the river a few kilometres upstream but looked all the better for it. Can I aim for that this time? – Feel like getting involved in some net-zero action!

About Binnies

At Binnies, we create new possibilities for humanity through our innovative approach to delivery. Backed by a culture that has stayed true since the company’s founding over 100 years ago, Binnies develops intelligent water and environmental solutions using a whole-life-cycle approach to deliver functional infrastructure and lasting environmental and social legacies. We strive to elevate the quality of life for our local communities today and for generations to come.

Binnies is an RSK group company and was formerly part of Black & Veatch.

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About the RSK group (RSK)

RSK is a leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services group made up of over 100 businesses. The group is headquartered in the United Kingdom and has an established presence in more than 40 countries around the world.

For over 30 years, RSK has been helping organisations realise their business goals efficiently, cost-effectively and with the minimum environmental and social impact. We deliver practical solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time. As a client-focused business, our services are constantly evolving to directly respond to or pre-empt global conditions and legislative drivers.

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Media contacts 

Binnies UK  

Angela Collins Tel: +44 (0)1737 856399 | Mobile: +44 (0)7391 639733 | Email:collinsa@binnies.com