Special Issue "Sponge Cities: Emerging Approaches, Challenges and Opportunities"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Water Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (2 March 2018).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Chris Zevenbergen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Water Science & Engineering Department, UNESCO-IHE, The Netherlands;
2. Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Interests: flood resilience; urban planning; water management; disaster management; urban governance; climate adaptation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Dafang Fu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Civil Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
Interests: water and wastewater treatment; sponge cities; membrane technologies; LID technologies; stormwater and urban runoff treatment and management; sediment remediation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Assoc. Prof. Assela Pathirana
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Flood Resilience Group, UNESCO-IHE, PO Box 3015, 2601 DA, Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: water cycle; asset management; storm water management; urban climate modelling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A Sponge City is a city that has the capacity to mainstream urban water management into the urban planning policies and designs. It should have the appropriate planning and legal frameworks and tools in place to implement, maintain and adapt the infrastructure systems to collect, store and treat (excess) rainwater. In addition, a “sponge city” will not only be able to deal with “too much water”, but also reuse rain water to help to mitigate the impacts of “too little” and “too dirty” water.

Primarily as a response to the increasing flood impacts, the Chinese Central Government called for widespread uptake of the Sponge City approach across China in 2013 and provided financial support to foster implementation of this approach in a selection of pilot cities. At present, the Sponge City approach is gaining ground and becoming more and more accepted by city governments. The first ‘best practices’ of Chinese cities are being shared and international exchange activities between research institutions and cities are providing guidance to the design and implementation of new concepts and technologies. However, there are still many challenges ahead which hamper uptake by the selected pilot cities and up-scaling to the remainder 600plus cities in China. City governments at all institutional levels have to support the implementation of the Sponge City approach in new built-up areas of city districts, industrial parks and development zones. In existing urban areas retrofitting of neighborhoods, refurbishment of existing buildings and infrastructure and rebuilding activities of old city areas should comply with the Sponge City approach.

This Special Issue brings together emerging approaches, challenges and opportunities related to Sponge Cities with the ultimate aim to foster upscaling and widespread uptake. While the sponge-city concept is new, the approaches involved in it, and therefore challenges and opportunities as well, have been tried out in many different parts of the globe under the guise of terminologies such as water sensitive cities, sustainable drainage sysems, low-impact development, ABC waters, etc. This issue draws from worldwide experience to draw lessons relevent to the sponge-city concept.

 

Prof. Chris Zevenbergen
Prof. Dafang Fu
Assoc. Prof. Assela Pathirana
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Sponge City

  • water sensitive city

  • urban water cycle

  • resilience

  • urban flooding

  • eco-restoration

  • stormwater management

  • low-impact development

  • sustainable drainage systems

Published Papers (29 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Transitioning to Sponge Cities: Challenges and Opportunities to Address Urban Water Problems in China
Water 2018, 10(9), 1230; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091230 - 12 Sep 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
At present, the Sponge City Concept (SCC) is gaining ground, Sponge Cities technologies are becoming more and more accepted by Chinese city governments, and the first best practices are being shared. However, there are still many challenges ahead which hamper effective implementation and [...] Read more.
At present, the Sponge City Concept (SCC) is gaining ground, Sponge Cities technologies are becoming more and more accepted by Chinese city governments, and the first best practices are being shared. However, there are still many challenges ahead which hamper effective implementation and upscaling. This paper presents an overview of some opportunities and constraints for the take up of this approach and has drawn upon international experiences. In China at the national level, the State Council has set a progressive target for the SCC initiative to be achieved in 2030. This target seems to be ambitious as the time needed for integrative planning and design and implementation is much longer than traditional sectoral approaches often omitting to address social well-being, the (local) economy, and ecosystem health. This particularly holds true for the existing building stock. Transforming the existing building stock requires a long-term planning horizon, with urban restoration, regeneration, and modernization being key drivers for adapting the city to become a sponge city. A key challenge will be to align the sponge city initiative (SCI) projects with infrastructure and urban renovation portfolios. Moreover, substantial investment needs and a lack of reliable financing schemes and experience also provide a huge challenge for China. This calls for an integrative opportunistic strategy that creates enabling conditions for linking the SCI investment agenda with those from other sectors. These transformations cannot be made overnight: completing the transformation process will typically take a life time of one generation. The progress in sustainable urban water management is also impacted by innovations in technologies as well as in management strategies. These technological innovations create fertile ground for businesses to adapt state-of-the-art developments from around the world and contextualize them into fit-for-purpose products. China is well-placed to play a leading role in this process in the coming decade. Full article
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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Performance of Earthworm-Enhanced Horizontal Sub-Surface Flow Filter and Constructed Wetland
Water 2018, 10(10), 1309; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101309 - 22 Sep 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
In this study, the performance of the horizontal sub-surface flow filter (HSSFF) and constructed wetland (HSSFCW) experimental units enhanced with earthworms was investigated for the treatment of construction camp sewage wastewater. All the experimental units (filter and constructed wetland) were filled with the [...] Read more.
In this study, the performance of the horizontal sub-surface flow filter (HSSFF) and constructed wetland (HSSFCW) experimental units enhanced with earthworms was investigated for the treatment of construction camp sewage wastewater. All the experimental units (filter and constructed wetland) were filled with the same filler except Eisenia foetida earthworms and Lolium perenne Linn plants. The performance of the earthworm-enhanced filter (EEF) and the earthworm-enhanced constructed wetland (EECW) was compared to that of the blank filter (BF) units. The results revealed that the removal efficiencies for chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammonium-nitrogen (NH4+-N), total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) in EEF were higher than the BF unit. In order to optimize the operating conditions, the experiments were conducted in three different water levels. The results revealed that the removal efficiencies of EEF for these pollutants are the highest in experimental conditions no. 2 (water level ~30 cm; HRT ~3 days; hydraulic load ~4.05 cm/day; and Inflow discharge ~0.27 L/h). Compared to the EEF and BF units, the EECW has higher removal efficiency for COD and TN and has more stable performance than the filters. This work will aid the design and improvement of filters and CWs for treatment of effluent wastewater from construction camps. The selection of appropriate hydraulic parameters and experimental conditions could be very beneficial in achieving the goal of implantation of low impact development (LID). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Influences of Sponge City on Property Values in Wuhan, China
Water 2018, 10(6), 766; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10060766 - 12 Jun 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Rapid urbanization in China and global climate change have increased urban flood exposure in Wuhan, and the increased flood risk has reduced property values in flood-prone areas. The central government of China is promoting the application of the sponge city concept to reduce [...] Read more.
Rapid urbanization in China and global climate change have increased urban flood exposure in Wuhan, and the increased flood risk has reduced property values in flood-prone areas. The central government of China is promoting the application of the sponge city concept to reduce urban flood risk and improve the environment in cities. Wuhan is one of the pilot cities of this initiative. A shortage of funds is one of the main obstacles to sponge city construction, as is the lack of a suitable business model. To test residents’ willingness to pay for sponge city construction, this research analyzed the impact of sponge city construction on the housing values of areas covered by sponge city interventions. The authors conducted interviews and analyzed secondary data to gauge residents’ awareness and perceptions of sponge city interventions. The results show that more than half of residents in Wuhan are willing to pay for sponge city measures, but the amount they are willing to pay is limited. Residents are more willing to pay for improvements of their living environment than for flood reduction measures. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
An Investigation on Performance and Structure of Ecological Revetment in a Sub-Tropical Area: A Case Study on Cuatien River, Vinh City, Vietnam
Water 2018, 10(5), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10050636 - 14 May 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The current study was performed with an aim to investigate the performance of ecological revetments implemented on the bank of the Cuatien River in Vinh city, Vietnam. Based on the ecological, topographical, and hydrological conditions of the Cuatien River, the gabion and riprap [...] Read more.
The current study was performed with an aim to investigate the performance of ecological revetments implemented on the bank of the Cuatien River in Vinh city, Vietnam. Based on the ecological, topographical, and hydrological conditions of the Cuatien River, the gabion and riprap models were introduced to investigate the effect of ecological revetment on the slope stability and ecological restoration characteristics. The effect of prevailing climatic indicators, such as temperature, precipitation, sunlight hours, and humidity were investigated to ascertain the characteristics of weather conditions on the subtropical area. On the surface soil layer of the gabion and riprap, the nutrient indicators of soil organic matter (SOM) and available nitrogen (AN) increased in the spring, summer, and winter, but decreased in autumn, and available phosphorus (AP) did not show an obvious change in the four seasons. The biomass growth rate of Vetiver grass on the gabion and riprap revetments was found to be the highest during the summer, at 15.11 and 17.32 g/month, respectively. The root system of Vetiver and other native plants could increase the cohesion of soil. After 6 and 12 months, the shear strength of the soil behind the gabion revetment increased by 59.6% and 162.9%, while the shear strength of the soil under the riprap also increased by 115.6% and 239.1%, respectively. The results also indicated that the gabion and riprap revetments could improve the river water purification effect and increase the ecological diversity in the region. In the current study, 26 floral and 9 faunal species were detected in the riprap revetment, whereas 14 floral and 5 faunal species were detected in the gabion revetment, respectively. Through high sequencing technology, the number of bacterial species in the present study was found to be 198, 332, and 351 in the water, gabion, and riprap samples, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Objectives and Indexes for Implementation of Sponge Cities—A Case Study of Changzhou City, China
Water 2018, 10(5), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10050623 - 10 May 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
This paper presents a framework of objectives and indexes for sponge cities implementation in China. The proposed objectives and indexes aims to reflect whether the city is in accord with the sponge city. Different cities have different objectives and indexes as each city [...] Read more.
This paper presents a framework of objectives and indexes for sponge cities implementation in China. The proposed objectives and indexes aims to reflect whether the city is in accord with the sponge city. Different cities have different objectives and indexes as each city has its own geologic and hydrogeological conditions. Therefore, the main problems (e.g., water security and flood risks) in the central urban area of Changzhou city, China were evaluated scientifically. According to the local conditions, four objectives and eleven indexes have been made as a standard to estimate the sponge city and set a goal for the city development to reach the goal of sustainable urban development. The strategy of process control was implemented to improve the standard of urban drainage and flood control facilities, regulate total runoff and reduce storm peak flow, and the ecological monitoring of the function of the rivers and lakes. The objectives of sponge cities include water security, water quality improvement, healthy water ecosystems, and water utilization efficiency. Urban flood prevention capacity, river and lake water quality compliance, and annual runoff control are the key objectives to encourage the use of non-conventional water resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rebuild by Design in Hoboken: A Design Competition as a Means for Achieving Flood Resilience of Urban Areas through the Implementation of Green Infrastructure
Water 2018, 10(5), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10050553 - 25 Apr 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
The Rebuild by Design (RBD) competition was launched after the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy, and the winning designs have put a significant emphasis on green infrastructure (GI) as a means of achieving flood resilience in urban areas. Previous research in the field [...] Read more.
The Rebuild by Design (RBD) competition was launched after the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy, and the winning designs have put a significant emphasis on green infrastructure (GI) as a means of achieving flood resilience in urban areas. Previous research in the field of urban stormwater management indicates that wide-spread implementation of GI remains a challenge, largely due to a lack of understanding of the required governance approaches. Therefore, by using a case study of Hoboken, for which the winning design was developed, this paper explores whether RBD provides governance structures and processes needed for the uptake of GI. Semi-structured interviews and desk study provided the data for an analysis of the presence of factors for supporting the transformative governance needed to facilitate the uptake of innovative solutions. Results indicate that RBD brought a greater change in terms of governance processes when compared to governance structures. In Hoboken, RBD created a narrative for long-term change, put GI as a preferred solution for tackling multiple challenges, and strengthened the local political buy-in. However, pitfalls were observed, such as limited funding provision, lack of regulatory compliance, economic justification and large investments required from public and private parties. The absence of these factors can hinder the overall uptake of the GI solution. Even though the design competition presents a novel approach to the field of resilience development, further steps should be made in understanding how the RBD methodology can be adjusted to provide results of equal quality in different settings (e.g., less developed regions, different governance contexts). Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Application of CityDrain3 in Flood Simulation of Sponge Polders: A Case Study of Kunshan, China
Water 2018, 10(4), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040507 - 19 Apr 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The selection of sponge city facilities (e.g., pump, storage tank, wetland, or bioretention pond) to mitigate urban floods has been a crucial issue in China. This study aims to develop a conceptual flood-simulation model, which can take into account the effects of such [...] Read more.
The selection of sponge city facilities (e.g., pump, storage tank, wetland, or bioretention pond) to mitigate urban floods has been a crucial issue in China. This study aims to develop a conceptual flood-simulation model, which can take into account the effects of such facilities of a sponge city. Taking Jiangpu polder in Kunshan City as a case study, CityDrain3 was implemented to develop a baseline model and another three sponge polder models (pump only, storage tank only, pump, and storage tank). A sensitivity analysis was carried out to guarantee the robustness of the newly developed model. In the model application part, firstly, one-hour rainfall scenarios with different return periods (2a, 5a, 10a, 20a, 50a, 100a, with ‘a’ referring to a year) were employed as inputs to the conceptual baseline model. The growing trend of flood depth (from 12.69 mm to 17.16 mm) simulated by the baseline model under increased return periods (from 3a to 100a) demonstrated the feasibility of polder flood simulations using CityDrain3. Secondly, a one-hour rainfall scenario with a 10-year return period was employed on the baseline model and the three sponge polder models. The results showed that the effect rankings of the control strategies on the total flood volume, peak flow, flood yielding time, and the peak-flow occurrence time were comparable—combined strategies (pump and storage tank) > storage tank only > pump only. The conceptual, and hydrological model developed in this study can serve as a simulation tool for implementing a real-time urban storm water drainage control system in the Jiangpu polder. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Semi Risk-Based Approach for Managing Urban Drainage Systems under Extreme Rainfall
Water 2018, 10(4), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040384 - 26 Mar 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Conventional design standards for urban drainage systems are not set to deal with extreme rainfall events. As these events are becoming more frequent, there is room for proposing new planning approaches and standards that are flexible enough to cope with a wide range [...] Read more.
Conventional design standards for urban drainage systems are not set to deal with extreme rainfall events. As these events are becoming more frequent, there is room for proposing new planning approaches and standards that are flexible enough to cope with a wide range of rainfall events. In this paper, a semi risk-based approach is presented as a simple and practical way for the analysis and management of rainfall flooding at the precinct scale. This approach uses various rainfall events as input parameters for the analysis of the flood hazard and impacts, and categorises the flood risk in different levels, ranging from very low to very high risk. When visualised on a map, the insight into the risk levels across the precinct will enable engineers and spatial planners to identify and prioritise interventions to manage the flood risk. The approach is demonstrated for a sewer district in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, using a one-dimensional (1D)/two-dimensional (2D) flood model. The risk level of this area is classified as being predominantly very low or low, with a couple of locations with high and very high risk. For these locations interventions, such as disconnection and lowering street profiles, have been proposed and analysed with the 1D/2D flood model. The interventions were shown to be effective in reducing the risk levels from very high/high risk to medium/low risk. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Study on the Influence of Clogging on the Cooling Performance of Permeable Pavement
Water 2018, 10(3), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030299 - 10 Mar 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Permeable pavement is often known as “cool road”. However, the cooling performance will be weakened due to clogging. In this paper, the temperature field distribution model of asphalt pavement was obtained by Green’s function. Gradations of porous asphalt mixture were designed to obtain [...] Read more.
Permeable pavement is often known as “cool road”. However, the cooling performance will be weakened due to clogging. In this paper, the temperature field distribution model of asphalt pavement was obtained by Green’s function. Gradations of porous asphalt mixture were designed to obtain different porosities, and the thermal properties of specimens with different porosities were tested and calculated. The simulation test was carried out to obtain the heating curves, which were used to verify the accuracy of the temperature model by comparing the results of the theoretical calculation to results of the test. The daily solar radiation intensity and air temperature changing functions were plugged into the model to calculate the temperature at the bottom of the middle surface. In this way, the simplified model of void fraction and cooling performance of the porous asphalt pavement was obtained. The results showed that the temperature at the bottom of the middle surface for permeable pavement was lower than that for traditional asphalt pavements. The gap was between 0.29 to 2.75 °C and it increased as the porosity of permeable pavement increased. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrological Performance of LECA-Based Roofs in Cold Climates
Water 2018, 10(3), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030263 - 03 Mar 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Rooftops represent a considerable part of the impervious fractions of urban environments. Detaining and retaining runoff from vegetated rooftops can be a significant contribution to reducing the effects of urbanization, with respect to increased runoff peaks and volumes from precipitation events. However, in [...] Read more.
Rooftops represent a considerable part of the impervious fractions of urban environments. Detaining and retaining runoff from vegetated rooftops can be a significant contribution to reducing the effects of urbanization, with respect to increased runoff peaks and volumes from precipitation events. However, in climates with limited evapotranspiration, a non-vegetated system is a convenient option for stormwater management. A LECA (lightweight expanded clay aggregate)-based roof system was established in the coastal area of Trondheim, Norway in 2016. The roof structure consists of a 200 mm-thick layer of LECA® lightweight aggregate, covered by a concrete pavement. The retention in the LECA-based roof was estimated at 9%, which would be equivalent to 0.27 mm/day for the entire period. The LECA-based configuration provided a detention performance for a peak runoff reduction of 95% (median) and for a peak delay of 1 h and 15 min (median), respectively. The relatively high moisture levels in the LECA-based roof did not affect the detention performance. Rooftop retrofitting as a form of source control may contribute to a change in runoff characteristics from conventional roofs. This study of the LECA-based roof configuration presents data and performance indicators for stormwater urban planners with regard to water detention capability. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Urban Surface Water Quality, Flood Water Quality and Human Health Impacts in Chinese Cities. What Do We Know?
Water 2018, 10(3), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030240 - 26 Feb 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Climate change and urbanization have led to an increase in the frequency of extreme water related events such as flooding, which has negative impacts on the environment, economy and human health. With respect to the latter, our understanding of the interrelationship between flooding, [...] Read more.
Climate change and urbanization have led to an increase in the frequency of extreme water related events such as flooding, which has negative impacts on the environment, economy and human health. With respect to the latter, our understanding of the interrelationship between flooding, urban surface water and human health is still very limited. More in-depth research in this area is needed to further strengthen the process of planning and implementation of responses to mitigate the negative health impacts of flooding in urban areas. The objective of this paper is to assess the state of the research on the interrelationship between surface water quality, flood water quality and human health in urban areas based on the published literature. These insights will be instrumental in identifying and prioritizing future research needs in this area. In this study, research publications in the domain of urban flooding, surface water quality and human health were collated using keyword searches. A detailed assessment of these publications substantiated the limited number of publications focusing on the link between flooding and human health. There was also an uneven geographical distribution of the study areas, as most of the studies focused on developed countries. A few studies have focused on developing countries, although the severity of water quality issues is higher in these countries. The study also revealed a disparity of research in this field across regions in China as most of the studies focused on the populous south-eastern region of China. The lack of studies in some regions has been attributed to the absence of flood water quality monitoring systems which allow the collection of real-time water quality monitoring data during flooding in urban areas. The widespread implementation of cost effective real-time water quality monitoring systems which are based on the latest remote or mobile phone based data acquisition techniques is recommended. Better appreciation of health risks may lead to better flood risk management. In summary, there is still a limited understanding of the relationship between urban surface water quality, flood water quality and health impacts. This also holds true for Chinese cities. Given the widespread and frequent occurrence of urban flooding, further research into this specific cross-cutting field is mandatory. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Adaptation Tipping Points of a Wetland under a Drying Climate
Water 2018, 10(2), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020234 - 24 Feb 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Wetlands experience considerable alteration to their hydrology, which typically contributes to a decline in their overall ecological integrity. Wetland management strategies aim to repair wetland hydrology and attenuate wetland loss that is associated with climate change. However, decision makers often lack the data [...] Read more.
Wetlands experience considerable alteration to their hydrology, which typically contributes to a decline in their overall ecological integrity. Wetland management strategies aim to repair wetland hydrology and attenuate wetland loss that is associated with climate change. However, decision makers often lack the data needed to support complex social environmental systems models, making it difficult to assess the effectiveness of current or past practices. Adaptation Tipping Points (ATPs) is a policy-oriented method that can be useful in these situations. Here, a modified ATP framework is presented to assess the suitability of ecosystem management when rigorous ecological data are lacking. We define the effectiveness of the wetland management strategy by its ability to maintain sustainable minimum water levels that are required to support ecological processes. These minimum water requirements are defined in water management and environmental policy of the wetland. Here, we trial the method on Forrestdale Lake, a wetland in a region experiencing a markedly drying climate. ATPs were defined by linking key ecological objectives identified by policy documents to threshold values for water depth. We then used long-term hydrologic data (1978–2012) to assess if and when thresholds were breached. We found that from the mid-1990s, declining wetland water depth breached ATPs for the majority of the wetland objectives. We conclude that the wetland management strategy has been ineffective from the mid-1990s, when the region’s climate dried markedly. The extent of legislation, policies, and management authorities across different scales and levels of governance need to be understood to adapt ecosystem management strategies. Empirical verification of the ATP assessment is required to validate the suitability of the method. However, in general we consider ATPs to be a useful desktop method to assess the suitability of management when rigorous ecological data are lacking. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sequencing Infrastructure Investments under Deep Uncertainty Using Real Options Analysis
Water 2018, 10(2), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020229 - 23 Feb 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The adaptation tipping point and adaptation pathway approach developed to make decisions under deep uncertainty do not shed light on which among the multiple available pathways should be chosen as the preferred pathway. This creates the need to extend these approaches by means [...] Read more.
The adaptation tipping point and adaptation pathway approach developed to make decisions under deep uncertainty do not shed light on which among the multiple available pathways should be chosen as the preferred pathway. This creates the need to extend these approaches by means of suitable tools that can help sequence actions and subsequently enable the outlining of relevant policies. This paper presents two sequencing approaches, namely, the “Build to Target” and “Build Up” approach, to aid in sub-selecting a set of preferred pathways. Both approaches differ in the levels of flexibility they offer. They are exemplified by means of two case studies wherein the Net Present Valuation and the Real Options Analysis are employed as selection criterions. The results demonstrate the benefit of these two approaches when used in conjunction with the adaptation pathways and show how the pathways selected by means of a Build to Target approach generally have a value greater than, or at least the same as, the pathways selected by the Build Up approach. Further, this paper also demonstrates the capacity of Real Options to quantify and capture the economic value of flexibility, which cannot be done by traditional valuation approaches such as Net Present Valuation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Phosphorus Solubilizing and Releasing Bacteria Screening from the Rhizosphere in a Natural Wetland
Water 2018, 10(2), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020195 - 12 Feb 2018
Abstract
Inorganic phosphorus (P)-solubilizing bacteria (IPSB) and organic P-mineralizing bacteria (OPMB) were isolated from bacteria that were first extracted from the rhizosphere soil of a natural wetland and then grown on either tricalcium phosphate or lecithin medium. The solubilizing of inorganic P was the [...] Read more.
Inorganic phosphorus (P)-solubilizing bacteria (IPSB) and organic P-mineralizing bacteria (OPMB) were isolated from bacteria that were first extracted from the rhizosphere soil of a natural wetland and then grown on either tricalcium phosphate or lecithin medium. The solubilizing of inorganic P was the major contribution to P availability, since the isolated bacteria released much more available P from inorganic tricalcium phosphate than lecithin. IPSB No. 5 had the highest P release rate, that is, 0.53 mg·L−1·h−1 in 96 h, and R10′s release rate was 0.52 mg·L−1·h−1 in 10 days. The bacteria were identified as Pseudomonas sp. and Pseudomonas knackmussii, respectively. R10 released as much as 125.88 mg·L−1 dissolved P from tricalcium phosphate medium, while R4 released the most dissolved P from organic P medium among the isolates, with a concentration of 1.88 mg·L−1 and a releasing rate of 0.0078 mg·L−1·h−1 in ten days. P releasing increased with a pH decrease only when it was from inorganic P, not organic lecithin, and there was no significant correlation between the culture pH and P solubilizing. High-throughput sequencing analysis revealed that the dominant phylum in the studied wetland rhizosphere consisted of Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Chloroflexi, accounting for 34.9%, 34.2%, 8.8% and 4.8%, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Saturated Zone on Nitrogen Removal Processes in Stormwater Bioretention Systems
Water 2018, 10(2), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020162 - 07 Feb 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
The introduction of a saturated zone (SZ) has been recommended to address the issue of nitrogen removal fluctuation in the bioretention system, which is one of the most versatile low-impact development facilities for urban stormwater management. Nine experimental columns were used to characterize [...] Read more.
The introduction of a saturated zone (SZ) has been recommended to address the issue of nitrogen removal fluctuation in the bioretention system, which is one of the most versatile low-impact development facilities for urban stormwater management. Nine experimental columns were used to characterize the nitrogen concentration variations over the outflow during wetting periods and in SZ during the antecedent drying periods (ADPs), as well as compare removal efficiencies of various nitrogen species in systems with different SZ depths under alternate drying and wetting conditions. Results indicated that NO3-N concentrations in the outflow showed quasi-logistic curve-shaped variations over time: being low (<0.5 mg/L) in the early process, sharply increasing thereafter, and finally flattening around 3.0 mg/L with NO3 leaching; NH4+-N and organic nitrogen (ON) concentrations were consistently low around 0.5 mg/L and 1.8 mg/L, respectively during the wetting periods. NH4+ removal efficiency in bioretention systems was consistently high around 80%, not varying with the increasing SZ depth; ON removal efficiency had a slight rise from 57% to 84% and NO3 removal efficiency was significantly enhanced from −23% to 62% with the SZ depth increasing from 0 to 600 mm. Deeper SZ could store more runoff and promote more denitrification of NO3 and mineralization of ON during the ADPs, providing more “old” water with low NO3 and ON concentrations for water exchange with “new” inflow of higher NO3 and ON concentrations during the wetting periods. The total nitrogen (TN) removal, a combined result of the instantaneous removal through adsorption and retention in the upper soil layer during the wetting periods and the gradual removal via denitrification and mineralization in SZ during the ADPs, was also improved by increasing the SZ depth; TN removal efficiency was elevated from 35% to 73% when the SZ depth increased from zero to 600 mm. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cross-Analysis of Land and Runoff Variations in Response to Urbanization on Basin, Watershed, and City Scales with/without Green Infrastructures
Water 2018, 10(2), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020106 - 26 Jan 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Evaluating land and runoff variations caused by urbanization is crucial to ensure the safety of people living in highly developed areas. Based on spatial scales, runoff analysis involves different methods associated with the interpretation of land cover and land use, the application of [...] Read more.
Evaluating land and runoff variations caused by urbanization is crucial to ensure the safety of people living in highly developed areas. Based on spatial scales, runoff analysis involves different methods associated with the interpretation of land cover and land use, the application of hydrological models, and the consideration of flood mitigation measures. Most studies have focused on analyzing the phenomenon on a certain scale by using a single data source and a specific model without discussing mutual influences. In this study, the runoff changes caused by urbanization are assessed and cross-analyzed on three sizes of study areas in the Zhuoshui River Basin in Taiwan, including basin (large), watershed (medium), and city (small) scales. The results demonstrate that, on the basin scale, land-cover changes interpreted from satellite images are very helpful for identifying the watersheds with urbanization hotspots that might have larger runoff outputs. However, on the watershed scale, the resolution of the land-cover data is too low, and land-cover data should be replaced by investigated land-use data for sophisticated hydrological modeling. The mixed usage of land-cover and land-use data is not recommended because large discrepancies occur when determining hydrological parameters for runoff simulation. According to present and future land-use scenarios, the influence of urbanization on runoff is simulated by HEC-1 and SWMM on watershed and city scales, respectively. The results of both models are in agreement and show that runoff peaks will obviously increase as a result of urbanization from 2008 to 2030. For low return periods, the increase in runoff as a result of urbanization is more significant and the city’s contribution to runoff is much larger than its area. Through statistical regression, the watershed runoff simulated by HEC-1 can be perfectly predicted by the city runoff simulated by SWMM in combination with other land/rainfall parameters. On the city scale, the installation of LID satisfactorily reduces the runoff peaks to pre-urbanization levels for low return periods, but the effects of LID are not as positive and are debatable for higher return periods. These findings can be used to realize the applicability and limitations of different approaches for analyzing and mitigating urbanization-induced runoff in the process of constructing a sponge city. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Influencing Stormwater Mitigation in Permeable Pavement
Water 2017, 9(12), 988; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9120988 - 18 Dec 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Permeable pavement (PP) is used worldwide to mitigate surface runoff in urban areas. Various studies have examined the factors governing the hydrologic performance of PP. However, relatively little is known about the relative importance of these governing factors and the long-term hydrologic performance [...] Read more.
Permeable pavement (PP) is used worldwide to mitigate surface runoff in urban areas. Various studies have examined the factors governing the hydrologic performance of PP. However, relatively little is known about the relative importance of these governing factors and the long-term hydrologic performance of PP. This study applied numerical models—calibrated and validated using existing experimental results—to simulate hundreds of event-based and two long-term rainfall scenarios for two designs of PP. Based on the event-based simulation results, rainfall intensity, rainfall volume, thickness of the storage layer and the hydraulic conductivity of the subgrade were identified as the most influential factors in PP runoff reduction. Over the long term, PP performed significantly better in a relatively drier climate (e.g., New York), reducing nearly 90% of runoff volume compared to 70% in a relatively wetter climate (e.g., Hong Kong). The two designs of PP examined performed differently, and the difference was more apparent in the relatively wetter climate. This study generated insights that will help the design and implementation of PP to mitigate stormwater worldwide. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Evaluation of Multiple Benefits to Encourage Multi-Functional Design of Sustainable Drainage in Blue-Green Cities
Water 2017, 9(12), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9120953 - 07 Dec 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Urban drainage systems that incorporate elements of green infrastructure (SuDS/GI) are central features in Blue-Green and Sponge Cities. Such approaches provide effective control of stormwater management whilst generating a range of other benefits. However these benefits often occur coincidentally and are not developed [...] Read more.
Urban drainage systems that incorporate elements of green infrastructure (SuDS/GI) are central features in Blue-Green and Sponge Cities. Such approaches provide effective control of stormwater management whilst generating a range of other benefits. However these benefits often occur coincidentally and are not developed or maximised in the original design. Of all the benefits that may accrue, the relevant dominant benefits relating to specific locations and socio-environmental circumstances need to be established, so that flood management functions can be co-designed with these wider benefits to ensure both are achieved during system operation. The paper reviews a number of tools which can evaluate the multiple benefits of SuDS/GI interventions in a variety of ways and introduces new concepts of benefit intensity and benefit profile. Examples of how these concepts can be applied is provided in a case study of proposed SuDS/GI assets in the central area of Newcastle; UK. Ways in which SuDS/GI features can be actively extended to develop desired relevant dominant benefits are discussed; e.g., by (i) careful consideration of tree and vegetation planting to trap air pollution; (ii) extending linear SuDS systems such as swales to enhance urban connectivity of green space; and (iii) managing green roofs for the effective attenuation of noise or carbon sequestration. The paper concludes that more pro-active development of multiple benefits is possible through careful co-design to achieve the full extent of urban enhancement SuDS/GI schemes can offer. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Scoping for the Operation of Agile Urban Adaptation for Secondary Cities of the Global South: Possibilities in Pune, India
Water 2017, 9(12), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9120939 - 02 Dec 2017
Abstract
Urban areas, especially in developing countries, are adapting to deficits in infrastructure and basic services (Type I adaptation) and to adaptation gaps in response to current and future climatic, societal and economic change (Type II adaptation). The responses to these adaptations needs can [...] Read more.
Urban areas, especially in developing countries, are adapting to deficits in infrastructure and basic services (Type I adaptation) and to adaptation gaps in response to current and future climatic, societal and economic change (Type II adaptation). The responses to these adaptations needs can be integrated and implemented using an “agile urban adaptation process”, i.e., an adaptive planning process quickly adapting to change in a flexible manner in short planning horizons, where the requirements and responses evolve through evolutionary development, early delivery, continuous improvement and collaboration between self-organizing and cross-functional teams. This paper focuses on how to move from the current conceptual stage to developing practical knowledge for the operation of agile urban adaptation. Scoping methodology comprises (i) understanding and structuring the adaptation context; (ii) exploring the four agile elements—balancing type I & II adaptation needs, flexibility, range of scenarios and involvement of stakeholders—in the adaptation context; (iii) a detailed SWOT analysis (strength, weakness, opportunities and threat) of adaptation responses; (iv) mapping relationships and synergies between the adaptation responses; and (v) preparing agility score cards for adaptation responses. The scoping exercise revealed that the agile adaptation process can move from concept to operation in Pune, India where the city is improving the basic services and adapting to climate change. For example: conventional adaptation responses such as city greening and check-dams across the rivers have agile characteristics; these responses are synergetic with other adaptation responses; and, there is a possibility to compare conventional adaptation responses based on agile characteristics. This scoping exercise also reveals that urban agile adaptation is not about implementing novel adaptation responses but understanding, planning and implementing conventional adaptation responses using an agile perspective. Urban agile adaptation is also about mainstreaming agile ideas using traditional adaptation responses. Hence, it is possible to apply agile the urban adaptation process using conventional adaptation responses in urban areas which address adaptation deficits related to infrastructure development as well as climate and socio-economic adaptation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Detailed Sponge City Planning Based on Hierarchical Fuzzy Decision-Making: A Case Study on Yangchen Lake
Water 2017, 9(11), 903; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9110903 - 20 Nov 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
We proposed a Hierarchical Fuzzy Inference System (HFIS) framework to offer better decision supports with fewer user-defined data (uncertainty). The framework consists two parts: a fuzzified Geographic Information System (GIS) and a HFIS system. The former provides comprehensive information on the criterion unit [...] Read more.
We proposed a Hierarchical Fuzzy Inference System (HFIS) framework to offer better decision supports with fewer user-defined data (uncertainty). The framework consists two parts: a fuzzified Geographic Information System (GIS) and a HFIS system. The former provides comprehensive information on the criterion unit and the latter helps in making more robust decisions. The HFIS and the traditional Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) method were applied to a case study and compared. The fuzzified GIS maps maintained a majority of the dominant characteristics of the criterion unit but also revealed some non-significant information according to the surrounding environment. The urban planning map generated by the two methods shares similar strategy choices (6% difference), while the spatial distribution of strategies shares 69.7% in common. The HFIS required fewer subjective decisions than the MCDM (34 user-defined decision rules vs. 141 manual evaluations). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Study on Extensive Green Roof Integrated Irrigation in Northwestern Arid Regions of China
Water 2017, 9(11), 810; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9110810 - 09 Nov 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
Selection of xerophils and drought tolerant plants is highly crucial in green roof techniques in the drought prone regions of Northwest China. In this study, the thermal performance under the natural conventional climate in summer was analyzed using a self-made simulation experimental platform [...] Read more.
Selection of xerophils and drought tolerant plants is highly crucial in green roof techniques in the drought prone regions of Northwest China. In this study, the thermal performance under the natural conventional climate in summer was analyzed using a self-made simulation experimental platform through comparison of the internal surface temperature with and without green roofs. The distribution frequency of internal surface temperature was investigated by dividing internal surface temperature into several ranges. Statistical analysis showed that the frequency of internal surface temperature lower than 33 °C for green roofs was 91.8%, about 1.09 times higher than that for non-green roofs, and that the sum of internal surface temperature exceeding 35 °C was about one third of that for non-green roofs. The results proved that green roofs have a significant insulation effect. Moreover, the thermal insulation property of green roofs had a strong positive relation with outside temperature. The thermal insulation characteristic was improved as the outdoor temperature increased, additionally, it had a better insulation effect within two hours after irrigation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancing the Economic Value of Large Investments in Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) through Inclusion of Ecosystems Services Benefits
Water 2017, 9(11), 841; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9110841 - 31 Oct 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Although Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are used in cities across the world as effective flood adaptation responses, their economic viability has frequently been questioned. Inclusion of the monetary value of ecosystem services (ES) provided by SuDS can increase the rate of return on [...] Read more.
Although Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are used in cities across the world as effective flood adaptation responses, their economic viability has frequently been questioned. Inclusion of the monetary value of ecosystem services (ES) provided by SuDS can increase the rate of return on investments made. Hence, this paper aims at reviewing the enhancement of the economic value of large-scale investments in SuDS through inclusion of ecosystem services. This study focuses on the flood reduction capacity and the ES benefits of green roofs and rain barrels in the combined sewerage network of Montevideo Municipality in Uruguay. The methodology comprises a cost–benefit analysis—with and without monetised ES provided by SuDS—of two drainage network configurations comprising: (i) SuDS; and (ii) SuDS and detention storage. The optimal drainage design for both these drainage configurations have been determined using SWMM-EA, a tool which uses multi-objective optimisation based evolutionary algorithm (EA) and the storm water management model (SWMM). In both design configurations, total benefits comprising both flood reduction and ES benefits are always higher than their costs. The use of storage along with SuDS provides greater benefits with a larger reduction in flooding, and thus is more cost-effective than using SuDS alone. The results show that, for both of the drainage configurations, the larger investments are not beneficial unless ES benefits are taken into account. Hence, it can be concluded that the inclusion of ES benefits is necessary to justify large-scale investments in SuDS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Study on Storm-Water Management of Grassed Swales and Permeable Pavement Based on SWMM
Water 2017, 9(11), 840; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9110840 - 31 Oct 2017
Cited by 13
Abstract
Grassed swales and permeable pavement that have greater permeable underlying surface relative to hard-pressing surface can cooperate with the city pipe network on participating in urban storm flood regulation. This paper took Nanshan village in Jiangsu Province as an example, the storm-water management [...] Read more.
Grassed swales and permeable pavement that have greater permeable underlying surface relative to hard-pressing surface can cooperate with the city pipe network on participating in urban storm flood regulation. This paper took Nanshan village in Jiangsu Province as an example, the storm-water management model (SWMM) was used to conceptualize the study area reasonably, and the low-impact development (LID) model and the traditional development model were established in the region. Based on the storm-intensity equation, the simulation scene employed the Chicago hydrograph model to synthesize different rainfall scenes with different rainfall repetition periods, and then contrasted the storm-flood-management effect of the two models under the condition of using LID facilities. The results showed that when the rainfall repetition period ranged from 0.33a to 10a (a refers to the rainfall repetition period), the reduction rate of total runoff in the research area that adopted LID ranged from 100% to 27.5%, while the reduction rate of peak flow ranged from 100% to 15.9%, and when the values of unit area were the same, the combined system (permeable pavement + grassed swales) worked more efficiently than the sum of the individuals in the reduction of total runoff and peak flow throughout. This research can provide technical support and theoretical basis for urban LID design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Study on Mercury Distribution and Speciation in Urban Road Runoff in Nanjing City, China
Water 2017, 9(10), 779; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9100779 - 12 Oct 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
The current study was aimed to investigate the mercury pollution in urban road runoff. A total of 34 rainfall events were monitored on 5 independent road catchments from 2015 to 2016 in Nanjing city, China. Events mean concentrations of mercury and the impact [...] Read more.
The current study was aimed to investigate the mercury pollution in urban road runoff. A total of 34 rainfall events were monitored on 5 independent road catchments from 2015 to 2016 in Nanjing city, China. Events mean concentrations of mercury and the impact factors of mercury pollution in urban road runoff were also carried out in the current study. Results revealed that the concentration of various mercury species was very high. Total mercury, dissolved mercury and particulate mercury were found to be in the range of 0.173–8.254 μg/L, 0.069–6.823 μg/L, and 0.086–2.485 μg/L, respectively. The order of total mercury concentration among the five catchments was as follows: Longpan road > Xinjiekou > Jiulonghu > Zhujiang road > Maqun area. Results revealed the existence of different dominant species of mercury in different urban areas. Particularly, mercury in urban road runoff mainly existed in particulate form in Maqun area, and the concentrations of inactive mercury (0.250–2.821 μg/L) were far more than that of volatile mercury (0.023–0.215 μg/L) and active mercury (0.026–0.359 μg/L). The order of impact factors of rainfall characteristics on Hg pollution in runoff was dry periods > runoff time > duration of rainfall > storm intensity > rainfall. Analysis based on the first flush effect showed that the first flush phenomenon of mercury was not significant. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ranking of Storm Water Harvesting Sites Using Heuristic and Non-Heuristic Weighing Approaches
Water 2017, 9(9), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9090710 - 16 Sep 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
Conservation of water is essential as climate change coupled with land use changes influence the distribution of water availability. Stormwater harvesting (SWH) is a widely used conservation measure, which reduces pressure on fresh water resources. However, determining the availability of stormwater and identifying [...] Read more.
Conservation of water is essential as climate change coupled with land use changes influence the distribution of water availability. Stormwater harvesting (SWH) is a widely used conservation measure, which reduces pressure on fresh water resources. However, determining the availability of stormwater and identifying the suitable sites for SWH require consideration of various socio-economic and technical factors. Earlier studies use demand, ratio of runoff to demand and weighted demand distance, as the screening criteria. In this study, a Geographic Information System (GIS) based screening methodology is adopted for identifying potential suitable SWH sites in urban areas as a first pass, and then a detailed study is done by applying suitability criteria. Initially, potential hotspots are identified by a concept of accumulated catchments and later the sites are screened and ranked using various screening parameters namely demand, ratio of runoff to demand and weighted demand distance. During this process, the opinion of experts for finalizing the suitable SWH sites brings subjectivity in the methodology. To obviate this, heuristic (Saaty Analytic hierarchy process (AHP)) and non-heuristic approaches (Entropy weight, and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) weighing techniques) are adapted for allotting weights to the parameters and applied in the ranking of SWH sites in Melbourne, Australia and Dehradun, India. It is observed that heuristic approach is not effective for the study area as it was affected by the subjectivity in the expert opinion. Results obtained by non-heuristic approach come out to be in a good agreement with the sites finalized for SWH by the water planners of the study area. Hence, the proposed ranking methodology has the potential for application in decision making of suitable storm water harvesting sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effectiveness of Runoff Control Legislation and Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters Design Features in Singapore
Water 2017, 9(8), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9080627 - 22 Aug 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Storm water management in Singapore has always been a challenge due to intense rainfall in a flat, low-lying and urbanised catchment. PUB’s (Singapore’s National Water Agency) recent runoff control regulation limits the runoff coefficient to 0.55 for developments larger than or equal to [...] Read more.
Storm water management in Singapore has always been a challenge due to intense rainfall in a flat, low-lying and urbanised catchment. PUB’s (Singapore’s National Water Agency) recent runoff control regulation limits the runoff coefficient to 0.55 for developments larger than or equal to 0.2 ha. The use of Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters design features are encouraged to attain peak runoff reduction. Hence the paper focuses on (i) determining the actual hydrological response regime of Singapore using the relationship between runoff coefficient (C), land use and slope; and (ii) investigating the effectiveness of ABC Waters design features in delaying and reducing peak runoff using a modelling approach. Based on a Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) model and using elevation, land use and soil data as inputs, the peak C-values were obtained for 50 m × 50 m grid cells. The results show that for the same land use, the one with steeper slope resulted in a higher runoff coefficient. Simulations were carried out in two study areas, Green Walk District and Tengah Subcatchment, where ABC Waters design features (such as porous pavements, green roofs, rain gardens) and detention tanks were incorporated to reduce C-values. Results showed that peak C-values can be reduced to less than 0.55 after increasing the green areas and constructing detention facilities. Reduction in peak discharge (22% to 63%) and a delay in peak discharge by up to 30 min were also observed. Hence, it is recommended to consider the relationship between slope and land use while determining runoff coefficients; and to incorporate ABC Waters design features in urban design to reduce the peak flow and runoff coefficient (C). Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Effectiveness of ABC Waters Design Features for Runoff Quantity Control in Urban Singapore
Water 2017, 9(8), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9080577 - 03 Aug 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) design features—natural systems consisting of plants and soil that detain and treat rainwater runoff—comprise a major part of Sustainable urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) in Singapore. Although it is generally accepted that ABC Waters design features are able [...] Read more.
Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) design features—natural systems consisting of plants and soil that detain and treat rainwater runoff—comprise a major part of Sustainable urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) in Singapore. Although it is generally accepted that ABC Waters design features are able to detain runoff and reduce peak flow, their effectiveness in doing so has not been studied or documented locally. This research aims to determine their effectiveness in reducing peak flow based on a newly constructed pilot precinct named Waterway Ridges. Four types of ABC Waters features have been integrated holistically within the development, and designed innovatively to allow the precinct to achieve an effective C-value of 0.55 for the 10-year design storm; the precinct-wide integration and implemented design with the aim of substantially reducing peak flow are firsts in Singapore. The study is based on results from an uncalibrated 1D hydraulic model developed using the Storm Water Management Model (SWMM). Identification of key design elements and performance enhancement of the features via optimisation were also studied. Results show that the features are effective in reducing peak flow for the 10-year design storm, by 33%, and allowed the precinct to achieve an effective C-value of 0.60. Full article
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Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Li, Z., et al. Objectives and Indexes for Implementation of Sponge Cities—A Case Study of Changzhou City, China. Water 2018, 10, 623
Water 2019, 11(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010081 - 04 Jan 2019
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following correction to their paper [...] Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Evaluating the Water Quality Benefits of a Bioswale in Brunswick County, North Carolina (NC), USA
Water 2018, 10(2), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020134 - 31 Jan 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Standard roadside vegetated swales often do not provide consistent pollutant removal. To increase infiltration and pollutant removal, bioswales are designed with an underlying soil media and an underdrain. However, there are little data on the ability of these stormwater control measures (SCMs) to [...] Read more.
Standard roadside vegetated swales often do not provide consistent pollutant removal. To increase infiltration and pollutant removal, bioswales are designed with an underlying soil media and an underdrain. However, there are little data on the ability of these stormwater control measures (SCMs) to reduce pollutant concentrations. A bioswale treating road runoff was monitored, with volume-proportional, composite stormwater runoff samples taken for the inlet, overflow, and underdrain outflow. Samples were tested for total suspended solids (TSS), total volatile suspended solids (VSS), enterococcus, E. coli, and turbidity. Underdrain flow was significantly cleaner than untreated road runoff for all monitored pollutants. As expected, the water quality of overflow was not significantly improved, since little to no interaction with soils occurred for this portion of the water balance. However, overflow bacteria concentrations were similar to those from the underdrain perhaps due to a first flush of bacteria which was treated by the soil media. For all sampling locations, enterococci concentrations were always higher than the USEPA geometric mean recommendation of 35 Most Probable Number (MPN)/100 mL, but there were events where the fecal coliform concentrations was below the USEPA’s 200 MPN/100 mL limit. A reduction in TSS concentration was seen for both overflow and underdrain flow, and only the underdrain effluent concentrations were below the North Carolina’s high quality water limit of 20 mg/L. Comparing results herein to standard swales, the bioswale has the potential to provide greater treatment and become a popular tool. Full article
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