Decision-Making and Sustainable Drainage: Design and Scale

Sue Charlesworth, Frank Warwick, Craig Lashford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
117 Downloads (Pure)


Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) improves water quality, reduces runoff water quantity, increases amenity and biodiversity benefits, and can also mitigate and adapt to climate change. However, an optimal solution has to be designed to be fit for purpose. Most research concentrates on individual devices, but the focus of this paper is on a full management train, showing the scale-related decision-making process in its design with reference to the city of Coventry, a local government authority in central England. It illustrates this with a large scale site-specific model which identifies the SuDS devices suitable for the area and also at the smaller scale, in order to achieve greenfield runoff rates. A method to create a series of maps using geographical information is shown, to indicate feasible locations for SuDS devices across the local government authority area. Applying the larger scale maps, a management train was designed for a smaller-scale regeneration site using MicroDrainage® software to control runoff at greenfield rates. The generated maps were constructed to provide initial guidance to local government on suitable SuDS at individual sites in a planning area. At all scales, the decision about which device to select was complex and influenced by a range of factors, with slightly different problems encountered. There was overall agreement between large and small scale models.
Original languageEnglish
Article number782
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0) (


  • management train
  • modelling
  • Sustainable Drainage (SuDS)
  • design
  • climate change
  • Green Infrastructure (GI)


Dive into the research topics of 'Decision-Making and Sustainable Drainage: Design and Scale'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this