The principal centres of research and development in stormwater management are in the World's temperate regions for which a wide range of best practices are already known. The article suggests a strategy for improving performance in urban flood control, pollution minimisation and stormwater harvesting in arid/semi-arid regions. The basis of the approach is, firstly, systematic documentation of performances in strategic project cases – by regions – followed by integration of these into a universal best practice. A documentation matrix for stormwater management cases in Adelaide, South Australia, is described. Factors considered in the matrix include devices and treatments, development types and forms, aquifer recharge capability and soil types. The matrix will provide, progressively, vital information for planners and designers and guide researchers in the most productive use of limited monitoring resources.

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