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A GIS based decision support system for the implementation of Stormwater Best Management Practices
C.Viavattene1*, L.Scholes2, D.M. Revitt 2, J.B. Ellis2
Flood Hazard Research Centre – Middlesex University, Queensway Enfield Middlesex EN3 4SA 2 Urban Pollution Research Centre – Middlesex University, Queensway Enfield Middlesex EN3 4SA. *Corresponding author, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Whilst there is increasing interest in the use of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) amongst policy makers, concern is expressed that a lack of shared knowledge by stakeholders unfamiliar with these systems could negatively influence the decision makingprocess in public participation sessions. To facilitate understanding and to enhance transparency relating to the development of sustainable urban drainage strategies, a wide range of technical, environmental and socio-economic criteria have previously been identified (together with supporting indicators and benchmark values) to assist practitioners in the selection of BMPs. This paper addresses the issue of the communicability of this work by demonstrating how these methodologies can be integrated into a decision support system based on a Geographic Information System (GIS) platform. This adds considerable value to current approaches; allowing the integration of layers containing pertinent information, facilitating knowledge transfer by enhancing communication through a user-friendly map interface and also offering the opportunity to link directly with more technical stormwater models. The potential operational utility of the developed approach is illustrated through its application to the incorporation of BMPs within a case study site.
Stormwater Best Management Practices; Decision Support System; GIS; Multi-criteria approach; Urban scale
The contribution that stormwater BMPs (also known as Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems ; SUDS) can make to sustainable urban development through their potential to address the needs and concerns of a diverse group of stakeholders, has been widely recognised (Revitt et al., 2003). These systems include a wide range of structures with different impacts on water quantity and quality, posing different technical constraints and entailing variable costs. However, unfamiliarity with these techniques, and in many cases, the lack of technical knowledge held by stakeholders could influence the decision-making process when selecting appropriate systems. Urban stormwater models such as SWMM, MIKE II, MOUSE, Hydroworks or STORM (for a review of these models see Balmforth et al., 2006; Elliott et al., 2007) are now widely used to assess the impact of control devices on the urban drainage system. Such models provide a good representation of the physical phenomena but, because of their complexity, they are Viavattene et al. 1
The need to include a wider range of issues was addressed by the development of the DayWater Multi-Criteria Comparator. 2006). Previous approaches. 2001. The aim of this approach is the development and application of a GIS decision support tool which facilitates the integration of data from a variety of sources to investigate the potential benefits of BMPs.. UK. On a catchment-wide basis. 2001). environmental. In the context of a typical urban development scenario of multiple stakeholders from a wide variety of backgrounds.eu). It is composed of two main interfaces which are viewed simultaneously: the GIS interface and the user-friendly 2 A GIS based decision support system for the implementation of BMPs . this model allows the user to identify potential areas which are appropriate for the installation of different types of BMPs in relation to site-specific criteria as well as to predict the most appropriate types of BMP for a specific site..11th International Conference on Urban Drainage. The development of this type of specific GIS tool which will enable stakeholders to identify possible sites for the location of urban BMPs on a catchment-scale represents an obvious stepforward. Although the transfer of data between GIS software and FLEXT is possible. also benchmarks the performance of BMPs against a range of technical. 2008 usually non-user friendly and are generally limited to technical issues (Balmforth et al. the focus has been based on the integration of three relevant components. (2006) involving the development of a GISbased expert system (known as FLEXT) which enables users to apply a series of rules and conditions within a large database containing detailed site-specific information.. site characteristics. Cappiella et al.. have principally considered the physical characteristics of a site within the framework of a decision matrix with an output in the form of a recommendation for a particular BMP or design configuration. social and legal criteria..net 2003® development environment with the support of ESRI® Arcgis library 9. economic. this paper demonstrates its potential application within the Eastside development in Birmingham (UK).1® . More recently they have also been used as post-processors to accept the output and enable a user-friendly representation of the results (Heaney et al. Development of GIS platform The Decision Support system has been developed using the Visual Studio. METHODOLOGY In developing a GIS-based decision support system for the identification of appropriate BMPs. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are also commonly used to collect and manage the spatial data required as an input for such models. 2005). BMP pollutant removal performance and the inclusion of end-user preferences. 2007). an urban area currently undergoing intensive redevelopment. Scotland. Edinburgh. The involvement of a wider range of stakeholder interests is then facilitated by the incorporation of the MCC tool with the inclusion of an up-dated methodology to assess the comparative pollutant removal potential of different BMPs (Scholes et al. there is clear potential for the use of such a central data integration and communication tool and as a precursor to analytical modelling.switchurbanwater. operation and maintenance. Following a description of the development of the model. MCC (Ellis et al.. The research described in this paper integrates the DayWater MCC approach within a GIS platform as part of the EU FP 6 SWITCH (Sustainable Water Management Improves Tomorrow’s Cities’ Health) project (www. (2006). 2008) which in addition to site characteristics. the tool is not yet fully integrated into a GIS platform. An example of a more interactive approach is that by Jin et al. Currently there are only a few examples of such dedicated tools (Makropolous et al. such as that by Scholz et al.
zoom. water body. up and down layer. 2008 interface (Figure 1). Scholz et al. However. car park. databases and pictures relating to 15 different stormwater BMPs.. This BMP pollutant removal assessment framework involves the combination of field data and expert judgement to assess the potential for seven pollutant removal processes (adsorption.. (2007) has been incorporated within the decision support system. together with an assessment of the potential for the identified processes to remove pollutants of concern. effectively establishing a set of rules which determine which BMPs can be located at a particular site. pan. soil type (clay. ‘Snapshot’ from the SWITCH BMP decision support system showing both the GIS and user-friendly interfaces. The user-friendly interface is a multiple-page dialog box (right-hand side of Figure 1) enabling users to access information. refresh. A variety of site-specific aspects with the potential to influence the use of various BMPs have been widely reviewed in the literature (CIRIA. road. Daywater. other). These two sets of information are then combined to develop a single unit value which identifies the relative potential for a particular pollutant or pollutant group to be removed by specific BMPs. volatilisation and photolysis) to occur within a range of BMPs. The GIS interface utilises current map tools (e. Viavattene et al. slope (%). building. Based on a consideration of their ease of utilisation within a GIS format. Jin et al. Figure 1. settling.. sand. add and remove layer) to enable users to interact with the map. gravel). Scotland. the user is able to change these default settings based on their own knowledge and requirements. 3 . silt. Edinburgh. 2006. The GIS interface consists of a screen where different shapefiles and raster layers can be viewed (see left-hand side of Figure 1). 2007). loam.g. UK. pavement. plant uptake. filtration. Woods–Ballard et al. 2005. microbial degradation. BMP assessment components Site criteria approach. verge. 2007. depth to groundwater (m) and the presence of ‘flat’ roofs. BMP pollutant removal potential. Default values which relate BMP type to the indicators are defined. the following indicators have been selected: type of land use (open space. To address concerns relating to water quality aspects. 2006. railway.11th International Conference on Urban Drainage. the systematic BMP pollutant removal assessment approach developed by Scholes et al.
An example of the use of multi-criteria comparator approach showing (a) its application to swales and (b) the ranked order of BMPs predicted using the same criteria and indicator weightings a) b) Criteria Technical Criteria weighting 15 Indicators Flood control Pollution control System adaptability to urban growth Receiving water volume impact Receiving water quality impact Receiving water ecological impact Maintenance and servicing requirements System reliability and durability Public heath and safety risks Sustainable development Public/commu nity information and awareness Amenity and aesthetics Life cycle costs Long term affordability Adoption status Building development issues and stormwater regulations Indicator weighting 5 5 5 Swales 2 3 4 BMP Infiltration basin Porous paving Swales Infiltration trench Retentions pond Constructed wetland Detention basin Extended detention basin Green roofs Filter strip Filter drain Soakaway Lagoon Settlement tank Porous asphalt Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10= 10= 12 13 14 15 Environmental 50 25 4 25 4 0 3 Operation and Maintenance 10 5 3 5 4 Social and Urban Community Benefits 10 2 3 2 1 3 2 5 5 0 5 5 3 4 4 5 3 Economic 5 Legal and Urban Planning 10 Total (sum of score x weight) 364 4 A GIS based decision support system for the implementation of BMPs . 2008 Multi-criteria comparator. Using this tool. UK. The performance of each of 15 BMPs is benchmarked against each indicator using default scores (developed during the DayWater project (Ellis et al..11th International Conference on Urban Drainage. Scotland. Table 1. Users then apply weightings which are combined with the scores to generate a BMP order of preference. Edinburgh. stakeholders are able to assess the performance of BMPs against the criteria listed in Table 1. 2008)) or alternatively the user can enter their own scores.
Scotland. the list of possible BMPs can be ranked using the pollutant removal methodology and/or the multi-criteria comparator approach. UK. In relation to the first objective. Eastside is a 170 ha area close to the centre of Birmingham which has been undergoing major regeneration over the last ten years. the assessment method is applied to a vector database (a layer in a shapefile format. the development of a GIS tool which enables stakeholders to identify potential sites for the location of BMPs. Additional information is offered to the end user to assist his selection. DISCUSSION The key drivers behind the development of the decision support tool are firstly. The layer database contains site characteristic values for each area of land under consideration (i. The tool interacts with the map through the use of a mouse (Figure 2 C) such that once a particular type of BMP is selected. ‘Site-by-site tool’ and the ‘ADD BMP tool’). The tool helps the user to develop an overview of the opportunities for locating BMPs throughout the studied area. the user can use the tool to effectively assess the potential locations for the siting of BMPs through the use of three tools within a GIS interface (‘Potential Areas tool’. 5 .e. The aim of this tool is to allow users to assess the potential for using all 15 BMPs at a selected location. soil type etc). land use type. 2008 Interactive map functionalities In the decision support system. 2008). To assess the use of this decision support system under such circumstances. slope. This tool allows users to identify all the areas within a development site where a particular stormwater BMP may be located. By pointing the mouse at a specific area on a map. the tool identifies which BMPs could be implemented (Figure 2 B). Site-by-Site assessment tool. As with the previous tool. Potential Areas tool. with the results shown on a map (Figure 2 A). The site criterion rules are applied to this database to assess the potential for using BMPs. and the results generated can be viewed in three different ways. The addition of other layers to the map containing information on water quality or quantity problems could then support the identification of key sites for BMP implementation.11th International Conference on Urban Drainage. the mouse cursor changes into a symbol indicative of the BMP being considered. and secondly the integration of multi-criteria analysis approach to support wider considerations involved in urban decision processes. These three options are based on generic ‘site characteristics rules’ which are applied to site-specific information. the tool has been applied to the Eastside Urban Development for which only a limited amount of data has been accessed. It is planned to become a new learning. ADD BMP tool. For example having identified which BMPs may be utilised based on site constraints. shared by stakeholders. the cursor image changes automatically in relation to whether the area is suitable for the particular BMP being considered. The user can then add the BMP to a dedicated layer which georeferences existing and new BMPs for further use in hydrological stormwater models. There is a common will. the ‘ADD BMP tool’ supports users in identifying potential areas for a specific type of BMP. Difficulties associated in the collection of field data are identified as a barrier limiting the implementation of decision-support systems in general and the integration of data within a GIS format in particular. technology and heritage quarter for the city and should provide citizens with learning and employment opportunities (Birmingham City Council. to incorporate sustainable Viavattene et al. Edinburgh. polygon type). As the user moves the cursor across the screen.
UK. Scotland. Edinburgh.11th International Conference on Urban Drainage. Snapshot of the three BMP site selection tools (A: Potential Areas tool. 2008 Figure 2. B: Site-bySite tool and C: ADD BMP tool) 6 A GIS based decision support system for the implementation of BMPs .
soakaways and swales) are present in one list and not the other. From a water perspective. if the main pollutant of concern is nitrates then a sub-surface flow (SSF) constructed wetland presents the higher score. (2007) have shown that a large component of the Eastside sewerage network is susceptible to surcharging during a 5 year 60 minute design rainfall event. 2008). the city has to manage major issues on water quantity and quality. the decision-support tool can be used to generate an order of preference of BMPs which offer the greatest potential to remove nitrate (see column 2 of Table 2 for the 5 most highly ranked BMPs).11th International Conference on Urban Drainage. This will be confirmed through on-site investigations. the ‘Site-by-Site tool’ allows the user to assess which of the 15 BMPs could be utilised (see Figure 2B). Soil data were obtained from the relevant Ordnance Survey of Great Britain geological map and from the SOILSCAPETM Website (Cranfield University. roundabout or park). 2002). In relation to the 5 most highly ranked BMPs. their impact on receiving waters and the preferences of the stakeholders limit the potential to field-test the application of the multi-criteria comparator and the BMP pollutant removal potential components. the area is subject to rising water tables resulting from a decline in the area’s industry and the greater part of the run-off from Birmingham city centre flows towards the River Rea (Eastside Sustainable Vision. Scotland. Foster et al. certain BMPs (e. 7 . as a minimum. An example of an order of preference of BMPs for the removal of total suspended solids (TSS) is also presented in Table 2 (column 3) as a comparison. car parks.g. sufficient data has been collected to construct a viable tool (although it is anticipated that additional future refinements will improve the operational aspects of the system).g. However.g. it is possible to demonstrate the potential benefits of the decisionsupport system using a theoretical example. Viavattene et al. With respect to using the developed decisionsupport system. then an infiltration basin is recommended as offering the greatest potential for removal. the regeneration programme. For example. ‘other’ impermeable areas. In contrast. UK. must address the European Directives on sustainability in order to meet the criteria of Advantage West Midlands and the European Regional Development Fund. In particular. Edinburgh. According to the Eastside Sustainable Vision (2002). The current existence of flat roofs was the most problematic aspect. Severn Trent Water Ltd is facing increasing sewer network surcharging problems within its region much of which is related to surface water flooding. it is noticeable that infiltration basin and constructed wetland score well for both nitrates and TSS. For example. Data collection with regard to groundwater levels across the site is ongoing and will be included together with the incorporation of future development plans as these become available. As a contribution to addressing these issues. As can been seen in Table 2. Further refinement to discriminate between specific land use areas e. if a user identified nitrates as a key pollutant. 2008 development into the regeneration programme. A user could then refine this list of ‘possible BMPs’ using both the BMP pollutant removal and/or the MCC comparator components. If the main pollutant is TSS. Surface slopes have been calculated using the Digital Terrain Model available through the Ordnance Survey/EDINA supply service. and initial allocations were achieved by analysing the remote sensing data available within Google Earth. open spaces. The current lack of data on site-specific sources and loadings of pollutants. Considering the case of an existing open space (e. the use of BMPs within Eastside’s ongoing and future regeneration projects is being considered. and verges has been achieved using images obtained from Google Earth 2007 and by referring to ©2008 Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky. The topographic layer of Master Map® data has provided initial information on urban land use types.
In addition to applying this tool within the Eastside development of Birmingham (UK). it will also be trialled in Belo Horizonte (Brazil). In the second preference. The impact of altering the weightings is evidenced by differences in the order of preferences generated. the use of an infiltration basin is shown to offer the best overall performance. It is important to point out that the tool is still in the development phase and that it has not yet been fully trialled with relevant stakeholders. These are all case study cities participating in the ongoing SWITCH project.e.11th International Conference on Urban Drainage. environmental and economic perspectives (MCC). The described tool simultaneously presents the output of three different approaches for identifying appropriate BMPs. Edinburgh. For this particular example. Lodz (Poland) and the Emscher region (Germany). the final two columns show the scores obtained when two different preferences were expressed using the MCC matrix component. The next stage in the development of this integration tool is the incorporation of a dialogue with a hydrodynamic stormwater model. 8 A GIS based decision support system for the implementation of BMPs . infiltration basins and retention basins score most highly. The first preference involved an application of a higher weighting on the environmental criterion. offering the end-user information from the specific perspective of site characteristics and pollutant removal as well as from a more holistic consideration of a broader range of social. for informed negotiation. Table 2. operation and maintenance and economic criteria). higher weightings were applied to criteria linked to project appraisal objectives (i. Scotland. One approach to utilising the generated results would be to identify which BMP best meet the needs of all considered aspects. Ranked position 1 2 3 4 5 Nitrates Constructed Wetland SSF Infiltration basin Constructed Wetland SF Swale Filter strip TSS Infiltration basin Constructed SSF Soakaway Extended Basin Constructed SF Wetland Wetland MCC Preference 1 Infiltration basin Swale Retention basin Constructed Wetland Extended detention basin 393 364 344 342 310 MCC Preference 2 Swale Retention basin Infiltration basin Filter strip Extended detention basin 354 344 343 335 305 CONCLUSIONS A modelling approach based on GIS has been shown to be capable of handling data from a variety of different tools to form the basis for a user-friendly decision support process which assist stakeholders in understanding and communicating alternative options for the inclusion of BMPs into urban areas. Completion of these field trials will enable the theoretical and analytical limitations of operationally applying this tool to be evaluated. technical. This work is scheduled to take place within the SWITCH project. In both cases swales. although their ranked order varies offering scope. 2008 In relation to the incorporation of user preferences. and will enable an assessment of the potential interest in the approach to be assessed as well as providing constructive comments and suggestions relating to the usability of the approach and its format. Overview of the BMP orders of preference generated with respect to differing priorities. It is also hoped that this process will assist with the collection of additional relevant data. UK.
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