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Open AccessArticle

WetSpa-Urban: An Adapted Version of WetSpa-Python, A Suitable Tool for Detailed Runoff Calculation in Urban Areas

Department of Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2460;
Received: 26 September 2019 / Revised: 18 November 2019 / Accepted: 19 November 2019 / Published: 23 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Catchment: Rainfall–Runoff Issues and Responses)
A tool called WetSpa-Urban was developed to respond to the need for precise runoff estimations in an increasingly urbanized world. WetSpa-Urban links the catchment model WetSpa-Python to the urban drainage model Storm Water Management Model (SWMM). WetSpa-Python is an open-source, fully distributed, process-based model that accurately represents surface hydrological processes but does not simulate hydraulic structures. SWMM is a well-known open-source hydrodynamic tool that calculates pipe flow processes in an accurate manner while runoff is calculated conceptually. Merging these tools along with certain modifications, such as improving the efficiency of surface runoff calculation and simulating flow at the sub-catchment level, makes WetSpa-Urban suitable for event-based and continuous rainfall–runoff modeling for urban areas. WetSpa-Urban was applied to the Watermaelbeek catchment in Brussels, Belgium, which recently experienced rapid urbanization. The model efficiency was evaluated using different statistical methods, such as Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency and model bias. In addition, a statistical investigation, independent of time, was performed by applying the box-cox transformation to the observed and simulated values of the flow peaks. By speeding up the simulation of the hydrological processes, the performance of the surface runoff calculation increased by almost 130%. The evaluation of the simulated 10 minute flow versus the observed flow at the outlet of the catchment for 2015 reached a Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency of 0.86 and a bias equal to 0.06. View Full-Text
Keywords: GIS; hydrodynamic; rainfall–runoff; software; urbanization GIS; hydrodynamic; rainfall–runoff; software; urbanization
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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Description: The WetSpa-Urban scripts, as well as 2m resolution land-use, soil and DEM maps and 3 months meteorological data are available as sample data on GitHub ( Descriptions of the WetSpa-Python installation needed for running the WetSpa-Urban modeling tool and all preinstalled software packages this model requires are also provided within the GitHub page.
MDPI and ACS Style

Rezazadeh Helmi, N.; Verbeiren, B.; Wirion, C.; van Griensven, A.; Weerasinghe, I.; Bauwens, W. WetSpa-Urban: An Adapted Version of WetSpa-Python, A Suitable Tool for Detailed Runoff Calculation in Urban Areas. Water 2019, 11, 2460.

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