Rainfall–runoff simulations to assess the potential of SuDS for mitigating flooding in highly urbanized catchments

D. Jato-Espino, Sue M. Charlesworth, J.R. Bayon, Frank Warwick

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Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) constitute an alternative to conventional drainage when managing stormwater in cities, reducing the impact of urbanization by decreasing the amount of runoff generated by a rainfall event. This paper shows the potential benefits of installing different types of SuDS in preventing flooding in comparison with the common urban drainage strategies consisting of sewer networks of manholes and pipes. The impact of these systems on urban water was studied using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which are useful tools when both delineating catchments and parameterizing the elements that define a stormwater drainage system. Taking these GIS-based data as inputs, a series of rainfall–runoff simulations were run in a real catchment located in the city of Donostia (Northern Spain) using stormwater computer models, in order to compare the flow rates and depths produced by a design storm before and after installing SuDS. The proposed methodology overcomes the lack of precision found in former GIS-based stormwater approaches when dealing with the modeling of highly urbanized catchments, while the results demonstrated the usefulness of these systems in reducing the volume of water generated after a rainfall event and their ability to prevent localized flooding and surcharges along the sewer network.
Original languageEnglish
Article number149
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • geographic information system
  • rainfall–runoff simulations
  • stormwater modeling
  • sustainable urban drainage systems


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