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A Comparison of Design Storms for Urban Drainage System Applications

Universitat Politècnica de València, Instituto Universitario de Investigación de Ingeniería del Agua y Medio Ambiente (IIAMA), Camí de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(4), 757;
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Water Management)
PDF [2078 KB, uploaded 23 April 2019]


The present research develops a systematic application of a selected family of 11 well-known design storms, all of them obtained from the same rainfall data sample. Some of them are fully consistent with the intensity–duration–frequency (IDF) curves, while others are built according to typical observed patterns in the historical rainfall series. The employed data series consists on a high-resolution rainfall time series in Valencia (Spain), covering the period from 1990 to 2012. The goal of the research is the systematic comparison of these design storms, paying special attention to some relevant quantitative properties, as the maximum rainfall intensity, the total cumulative rainfall depth or the temporal pattern characterising the synthetic storm. For comparison purposes, storm duration was set to 1 h and return period equal to 25 years in all cases. The comparison is enhanced by using each of the design storms as rainfall input to a calibrated urban hydrology rainfall–runoff model, yielding to a family of hydrographs for a given neighbourhood of the city of Valencia (Spain). The discussion and conclusions derived from the present research refer to both, the comparison between design storms and the comparison of resulting hydrographs after the application of the mentioned rainfall–runoff model. Seven of the tested design storms yielded to similar overall performance, showing negligible differences in practice. Among them, only Average Variability Method (AVM) and Two Parameter Gamma function (G2P) incorporate in their definition a temporal pattern inferred from empirical patterns identified in the historical rainfall data used herein. The remaining four design storms lead to more significant discrepancies attending both to the rainfall itself and to the resulting hydrograph. Such differences are ~8% concerning estimated discharges. View Full-Text
Keywords: design storm; urban drainage; rainfall–runoff design storm; urban drainage; rainfall–runoff

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Balbastre-Soldevila, R.; García-Bartual, R.; Andrés-Doménech, I. A Comparison of Design Storms for Urban Drainage System Applications. Water 2019, 11, 757.

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