Assessing and mitigating the hydrological impacts of urbanisation in semi-urban catchments using the Storm Water Management Model

Aryal, S. K. and Ashbolt, S. and McIntosh, B. S. and Petrone, K. P. and Maheepala, S. and Chowdhury, R. K. and Gardener, T. and Gardiner, R. (2016) Assessing and mitigating the hydrological impacts of urbanisation in semi-urban catchments using the Storm Water Management Model. Water Resources Management, 30 (14). pp. 5437-5454. ISSN 0920-4741


Urbanisation causes a range of adverse impacts on stream physical and ecological conditions due to increases in catchment runoff caused by increased imperviousness. Developing ways to reduce these impacts on in-stream ecosystems is a major challenge and requires innovative catchment specific, high-time-resolution modelling methods. We employed a combination of high-time-resolution data collection, analysis and modelling methods to understand the underlying hydrological processes and evaluate a potentially significant management option – stormwater harvesting. A set of sensitive parameters of the Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) were optimised using an automatic calibration method and hourly data in eight catchments in South East Queensland, Australia. Systematic investigation of the effects of urbanisation and its mitigation through stormwater harvesting was achieved by modelling the impacts of increasing impervious area for three of the relatively undeveloped catchments. As the extent of impervious areas across the catchments increased we typically found increases in the duration of high flow spells together with increases in mean flow and the frequency of runoff events. However, many hydrologic responses to increasing imperviousness were specific to the physical characteristics of catchments, and to the spatio-temporal pattern of urbanisation. By implementing stormwater harvesting options the hourly flows were reduced by up to 60 % but the maximum flow was unchanged. Thus the option was able to reduce, but not totally ameliorate, the negative hydrological impacts of increasing imperviousness.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2018 00:56
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2018 04:58
Uncontrolled Keywords: hydrological modelling, stormwater harvesting, SWMM, urban water management, South East Queensland, low impact development
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090509 Water Resources Engineering
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960912 Urban and Industrial Water Management
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/s11269-016-1499-z

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