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Introducing SUDS guidelines at a local scale: three case studies in Spain

Author(s): Sara Perales Momparler; Miguel Rico Cortés; Maria Soledad Checa Sánchez; Manuel De Pazos Liaño; Cristóbal Badenes Catalán; Inés Beltrán Pitarch; Laura De la Fuente García

Linked Author(s): Sara Perales Momparler, Miguel Rico Cortés

Keywords: Urban Drainage, SUDS, Standards, Spain

Abstract: Although Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) have been gradually introduced in Spain during the last decade, the lack of regulations and clear guidelines has been an historical barrier to their use. Developers, engineers and water authorities (typically municipalities) demanded responses and adapted design criteria to the particularities of Spanish climate. In this context, some of the main Spanish municipalities have developed SUDS guidance documents which aim to introduce SUDS to the local drainage stakeholders and to provide appropriated design criteria considering the local constraints. With this common objective, Madrid, Castello de la Plana and Valencia have launched their SUDS standards in the last years, intending to throw some light to the SUDS design topic from a local perspective. Madrid, which is the capital and the most populated city, published the first SUDS guidelines in Spain in November 2018. This publication is an important milestone for Sustainable Drainage in the country and, further than bringing a brief introduction of the different SUDS technics, it provides a step-by-step design guide incorporating important concepts such as the rainfall percentiles. Located in the Mediterranean coast, Castello de la Plana became a SUDS reference in Spain when they launched their own SUDS Manual in November 2019. The document highlights the urban drainage current challenges, and it also summarises the European, national, regional and local regulations approved so far regarding SUDS. Furthermore, it introduces water quality to the SUDS selection process adapting the CIRIA SuDS Manual’s mitigation index methodology. Finally, Valencia released its SUDS guidance in June 2021 following the example of other municipalities. Further than analysing the specific problems of the city drainage, the document introduces flexible design criteria in order to recognise the diversity of the different urban landscapes. The guide drives the designer to ambitious SUDS solutions in areas such as gardens or parks, where SUDS can become and attraction by themselves, and also focuses on finding opportunities to incorporate SUDS in urban consolidated areas. In conclusion, municipalities are making an effort to support engineers and developers in the transition to Nature Based Solutions for urban drainage. The production of adapted local documents is being a useful tool to introduce SUDS into cities with different climate conditions.


Year: 2022

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