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Optimisation of Water Sensitive Urban Design Practices
Population growth and urban consolidation have resulted in a movement away from the natural landscape creating a greater proportion of impervious area and an increase in urban stormwater runoff. The increase in stormwater runoff has typically be handled using traditional drainage infrastructure such as pipes, pits and detention basins. A review of the literature identified that the optimisation of traditional drainage infrastructure can result in great cost-savings and ensure that other hydrologic and hydraulic performance criteria are met. An alternative to implementing traditional stormwater collection and conveyance infrastructure is Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD), which has been shown to counteract the effects of increased runoff by decreasing the proportion of impervious area and utilising natural retention/detention.
To date, the optimisation of WSUD practices has focused primarily on large-scale practices such as wetlands, detention basins, and stormwater harvesting schemes. It is evident that little research has been conducted to identify the impacts of utilizing lot-scale WSUD practices, such as rain gardens and rainwater tanks, on the catchment-wide hydrologic response.
This research aims to utilise evolutionary algorithms as a means of identifying the most efficient combinations of WSUD practices at the lot scale to meet designated hydrologic objectives at the catchment scale. Furthermore, this research will use optimisation to determine, and explore, the trade-offs between WSUD practices and more traditional drainage infrastructure practices.
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