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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An integrated planning framework for urban stormwater management : a one water approach Hager, James Kirk


Flooded streets and homes, polluted surface water bodies, degraded aquatic habitats, stressed aquifers, and expensive drainage infrastructure are evidence that Canada’s current approach to stormwater management is not financially or environmentally sustainable. Although there are several decision support tools and frameworks for stormwater management planning that have been developed in the past decade, few are suited to the specific needs of long-term community-level urban stormwater management planning in Canada’s diverse and extreme climates. To address the above-mentioned challenges, the development of a modern community-level urban stormwater decision support framework was proposed. The framework is capable of adapting to suit the needs of resilient stormwater infrastructure planning in Canada. The framework will assess low impact development infrastructure, traditional stormwater infrastructure, and community-level stormwater reuse schemes to identify the optimal resilient stormwater management strategy for a new urban community development in Canada based on the community’s water footprint. The proposed framework incorporates stochastic variation in natural processes (e.g., inter- and intra-annual variability in precipitation patterns) to predict a community’s water footprint using the “one water approach”. The one water approach is an integrated planning framework for managing all water resources (including stormwater, wastewater, and drinking water). A climate change sensitivity analysis is also incorporated to test any proposed stormwater systems for resiliency to Canada’s changing climate. The framework relies on two multi-criteria, multi-period decision-making methods to optimize a community’s stormwater infrastructure based on constraints defined by community planners. The proposed framework will allow new-community developers and planners to reduce a community’s long-term water footprint by identifying the optimal combination of resilient and cost-effective stormwater infrastructure. Two case studies were performed to highlight the capabilities of the developed framework. The results indicate that the optimal mix of stormwater infrastructure is heavily influenced by decision makers’ priorities, inter- and intra-annual weather patterns, site conditions, and regional predictions of climate change.

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