A GIS-Based Simulation Application to Model Surface Runoff Level in Urban Blocks

Chethika Abenayake, Amila Jayasinghe, Naduni Wijayawardana, L.D.C.H.N. Kalpana , Nuwan Dias , Dilanthi Amaratunga, Richard Haigh

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Natural flood defence mechanism is an ecosystem service (ES) that reinforces the community’s resilience to flooding. The unprecedented urban development with the extensive growth of built up areas over the last century has absurdly weakened the natural flood defence mechanism resulting in high intensive flood exposure and damages. Hence, disaster resilient city development initiatives should be focused on more sustainable built form scenarios without triggering the fragility of Natural flood defence mechanisms. Low impact development (LID) is technical knowhow on a collection of sustainable practices that mimic natural hydrological functions including infiltration, evapotranspiration or use of surface runoff. In this context, there are certain studies on assessing the compatibility of building regulations with projects under LID, yet there is a gap remains in simulating the effectiveness of LID-based planning and building regulations in building community resilience to flood. Accordingly, this paper attempts to simulate surface runoff level in urban blocks at different LID scenarios in Colombo Municipal Council area by using the EPA SWMM (the United States Environmental Protection Agency Storm Water Management Model) free and open access flood inundation model. Flood situation at the proposed development scenario in Colombo and hypothetical scenarios were assessed and the results indicate the proposed development scenario leads to the severe urban flooding situation in future. Hence, this study has simulated three hypothetical scenarios, to examine the effectiveness of LID strategies in controlling urban floods while optimising the plot coverage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Pages (from-to)56-64
Number of pages9
JournalFARU Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2020
EventFARU 13th International Research Conference - Virtual Conference, Sri Lanka
Duration: 6 Nov 20209 Nov 2020
Conference number: 13


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