IWA Publishing
IWA Publishing

Methodology for qualitative urban flooding risk assessment


Pluvial or surface flooding can cause significant damage and disruption as it often affects highly urbanised areas. Therefore it is essential to accurately identify consequences and assess the risks associated with such phenomena. The aim of this study is to present the results and investigate the applicability of a qualitative flood risk assessment methodology in urban areas. This methodology benefits from recent developments in urban flood modelling, such as the dual-drainage modelling concept, namely one-dimensional automatic overland flow network delineation tools (e.g. AOFD) and 1D/1D models incorporating both surface and sewer drainage systems. To assess flood risk, the consequences can be estimated using hydraulic model results, such as water velocities and water depth results; the likelihood was estimated based on the return period of historical rainfall events. To test the methodology two rainfall events with return periods of 350 and 2 years observed in Alcântara (Lisbon, Portugal) were used and three consequence dimensions were considered: affected public transportation services, affected properties and pedestrian safety. The most affected areas in terms of flooding were easily identified; the presented methodology was shown to be easy to implement and effective to assess flooding risk in urban areas, despite the common difficulties in obtaining data.

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