Optimal rainfall temporal patterns for urban drainage design in the context of climate change

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The main objective of the present study is to propose a method for estimating an optimal temporal storm pattern for urban drainage design in southern Quebec (Canada) in the context of climate change. Following a systematic evaluation of the performance of eight popular design storm models for different typical urban basins, it was found that the Canadian Atmospheric Environment Service (AES) storm pattern and the Desbordes model (with a peak intensity duration of 30 min) were the most accurate for estimating runoff peak flows while the Watt model gave the best estimation of runoff volumes. Based on these analyses, an optimal storm pattern was derived for southern Quebec region. The proposed storm pattern was found to be the most suitable for urban drainage design in southern Quebec since it could provide accurate estimation of both runoff peak flow and volume. Finally, a spatial-temporal downscaling method, based on a combination of the spatial statistical downscaling SDSM technique and the temporal scaling General Extreme Value distribution, was used to assess the climate change impacts on the proposed optimal design storm pattern and the resulting runoff properties.

Keywords: climate change impacts, design storms, extreme rainfalls, generalized extreme value distribution, statistical downscaling methods

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