Stormwater harvesting systems are a viable option to adapt cities to cope with climate change and reduce pressure on water supply services. This is particularly crucial in the event of natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes, floods), where large parts of cities may become disconnected from a secure water supply for prolonged time periods. We demonstrate how optimum location, density and storage size can be determined using UrbanBEATS, a spatial planning-support system for planning and design of sustainable Blue-Green Infrastructure strategies. We investigate the Ōtākaro/Avon River catchment, Christchurch, New Zealand for the time periods 2011–2020, 2041–2050 and 2091–2100 (for the RCP 8.5 climate change scenario). For targets of 30% of potable water substitution and 70% storage volumetric reliability, we found that stormwater harvesting systems in all climate scenarios required a larger capacity compared to the baseline. Most storages achieved their set targets and were larger than the municipality's recommended 9 m3 for flood inundation, indicating that the identified storages would also reduce minor flooding while ensuring water savings. A shift in the spatial layout of modelled systems from highly distributed to more centralised, however, raises a potential conflict with disaster resilience where more local solutions would be preferable.

  • Choice of lot-scale and larger storages is heavily influenced by urban form, density and location.

  • Modelled systems show the potential to also mitigate floods according to council recommendations.

  • Future climate influence on location/viability of stormwater harvesting is more complex than just rainfall volume.

  • Potential conflict was observed between spatial approaches of climate change adaptation and disaster resilience.

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