Challenges posed by traditional Stormwater Management Practices

By Engr. John Cee Onwualu (FNSE, FNICE, FNIWE, P.E., R.ENG.,)

EXAMPLE OF EFFECT OF EROSION IN AGBOR, IKA SOUTH LOCAL GOVT. AREA, DELTA STATE.

Insufficient Infrastructure to Handle Increased Runoff

Traditional stormwater management practices, such as curbs, gutters, and storm sewers, were designed to convey runoff away from urban areas and into water bodies.

However, these systems often fail to handle the increased runoff from land-use change, leading to flooding and infrastructure damage.

Over-reliance on Grey Infrastructure

Grey infrastructure, such as concrete channels, detention basins, and pumping stations, is costly to build and maintain, and often has negative environmental impacts.

Moreover, grey infrastructure is not always effective in reducing the impacts of land-use change on urban hydrology.

Disconnect Between Land Management and Stormwater Management

In many urban areas, land management and stormwater management are separate disciplines that do not communicate or coordinate effectively.

This leads to missed opportunities to implement sustainable stormwater management practices that can address the impacts of land-use change on urban hydrology.

Green Infrastructure as a Solution

Green infrastructure, such as rain gardens, green roofs, and permeable pavements, is designed to mimic natural processes and reduce the impacts of land-use change on urban hydrology.

Green infrastructure can retain and infiltrate runoff, reduce peak flows, recharge groundwater, and improve water quality.

EXAMPLE OF GRASS ROOF VILLA: https://www-yankodesign-com.cdn.ampproject.org

Low-impact Development Approaches

Low-impact development approaches, such as preserving and restoring natural areas, incorporating green spaces into urban design, and using compact and mixed-use development patterns, can reduce the amount of land converted to impervious surfaces and promote sustainable land use and stormwater management practices.

EXAMPLE OF GREEN ENVIRONMENT LOCATED IN ASABA, DELTA STATE

In conclusion, traditional stormwater management practices present significant challenges in effectively managing and mitigating the impacts of stormwater runoff.

From their limited capacity and high maintenance requirements to their negative effects on water quality and biodiversity, these practices require reevaluation and modernization to meet the growing demands of urban development.

As professionals in the industry, it is our responsibility to not only acknowledge these challenges, but also to actively seek and implement sustainable and innovative solutions for a more resilient and environmentally-friendly stormwater management system.

We can successfully overcome these challenges and create a better future for our communities through collaboration and forward-thinking.

References

Alshammari, E. et al., 2023. The Impacts of Land Use Changes in Urban Hydrology, Runoff and Flooding: A Review. In: E. Alshammari, et al. eds. Current Urban Studies. Malaysia: Scientific Research Publishing Inc., pp. 120-141.

Bibi & Sambeto, T., 2022. Modeling Urban Stormwater Management in the Town of Dodola based on Land-use and Climate Change using SWMM 5.1. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, Volume 44.

Hale, R. L., 2016. Spatial and Temporal Variations in Local Stormwater Infrastructure Use and Stormwater Management Paradigms over the 20th Century. Urban Drainage and Urban Stormwater Management, 8(7).

Li, L. et al., 2021. The Effect of Urban Land-Use Change on Runoof Water Quality: A Case Study in Hangzhou City, Hangzhou City: Environmental Research and Public Health.

Wu, J. et al., 2013. Using the Storm Water Management Model to predict Urban Headwater Stream Hydrological response to Climate and Land cover change. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 17(12), pp. 4743-4758.

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