Towards natural water cycle in urban areas : Modelling stormwater management designs

Ambika Khadka*, Teemu Kokkonen, Tero J. Niemi, Elisa Lähde, Nora Sillanpää, Harri Koivusalo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
139 Downloads (Pure)


Urbanization modifies the natural water cycle particularly by reducing the water storage capacity. We analysed the storage capacity of three stormwater management designs in south-western Finland to demonstrate how an urban catchment releases stormwater and how storage contributes to flood resilience. The analysis relies on EPA SWMM5.1 simulations of water balance for a seven-month period including two extreme rain events during the summer and autumn. The enhanced storage capacity provided by the designs increased resilience against flooding and released stormwater with slower rates leading to reduced peak flows. Even the design with the least storage (10% LID coverage) was efficient at regulating floods due to controlled flow in a vegetated swale, whereas the design with the highest storage capacity (60% LID coverage) demonstrated the possibility of restoring nearly natural water cycle in urban catchments. The study suggests storage capacity can act as a flood resilience indicator directly linked with the physical catchment characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-597
Number of pages11
JournalUrban Water Journal
Issue number7
Early online date25 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • catchment resilience
  • storage capacity
  • Stormwater management designs
  • SWMM


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