Exploring the Potentials of Using SuDS for Attainment of Sustainable Surface Water Management in Developing Countries: A Case Study of Lagos Nigeria

Margaret Mezue, Susanne M. Charlesworth, Frank Warwick, Marion MacLellan, James Bennett

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    A Sustainable surface water management (SSWM) is one that places emphasis on the reduction of storm water runoff by treating the storm water as close as possible to the source, preferably on site. Presently, there would appear to be a paradigm shift towards more sustainable surface water management practices in the developing world with the growing adoption of Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) to replace or work in conjunction with the existing conventional methods of command and control to manage runoff. The need to investigate alternative sustainable water management systems cannot be over emphasised as water is becoming a scarce resource worldwide and the existing conventional methods of surface water management are not sustainable and have failed to deliver flood and stormwater pollution control particularly in facing of changing climate with erratic storm events. However, most developing countries especially in West Africa still rely solely on these conventional drainage methods to manage runoff (which are on the one hand fragmentary at best and non-existent at worst). While these conventional methods of command and control continue to fail and jeopardise the livelihood of citizens, dealing with flooding from surface runoff does not seem to be priority to the governments in these countries. Hence, an alternative method to managing runoff needs to be sought and undertaken, albeit even if it begins from the grassroots. The aim of this chapter is to explore the potentials of using mostly basic SuDS devices to transition these countries to a more sustainable surface water management system. SuDS are devices that can be applied within SSWMs to achieve the management and treatment of this excess runoff. Using Lagos, Nigeria as a case study, nine settlements were visited to investigate the potentials of achieving SSWMs through the adoption of SuDS. Emphasis was placed on the readiness and willingness of the communities to adopt alternative methods to manage their flooding issues. This study gauges the responsiveness/willingness of the Lagos public to the adoption of SuDS as a driver to achieving SSWM. Therefore the views of policy makers, Local Government officials, and stakeholders in Lagos, Nigeria, were sought on the implementation of Sustainable Drainage systems (SuDS) for residents of Lagos and the potential benefits and barriers to such applications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationStormwater
    Subtitle of host publicationSources, Monitoring and Management
    EditorsErnest O'Nnadi
    PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Electronic)9781536161632
    ISBN (Print)9781536161625
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2019 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc.


    • flooding
    • runoff
    • stormwater
    • sustainable drainage systems
    • sustainable surface water management

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Science(all)


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