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11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2008

A GIS based decision support system for the implementation of Stormwater Best Management Practices
C.Viavattene1*, L.Scholes2, D.M. Revitt 2, J.B. Ellis2
Flood Hazard Research Centre Middlesex University, Queensway Enfield Middlesex EN3 4SA 2 Urban Pollution Research Centre Middlesex University, Queensway Enfield Middlesex EN3 4SA. *Corresponding author, e-mail c.viavattene@mdx.ac.uk
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ABSTRACT
Whilst there is increasing interest in the use of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) amongst policy makers, concern is expressed that a lack of shared knowledge by stakeholders unfamiliar with these systems could negatively influence the decision makingprocess in public participation sessions. To facilitate understanding and to enhance transparency relating to the development of sustainable urban drainage strategies, a wide range of technical, environmental and socio-economic criteria have previously been identified (together with supporting indicators and benchmark values) to assist practitioners in the selection of BMPs. This paper addresses the issue of the communicability of this work by demonstrating how these methodologies can be integrated into a decision support system based on a Geographic Information System (GIS) platform. This adds considerable value to current approaches; allowing the integration of layers containing pertinent information, facilitating knowledge transfer by enhancing communication through a user-friendly map interface and also offering the opportunity to link directly with more technical stormwater models. The potential operational utility of the developed approach is illustrated through its application to the incorporation of BMPs within a case study site.

KEYWORDS
Stormwater Best Management Practices; Decision Support System; GIS; Multi-criteria approach; Urban scale

INTRODUCTION
The contribution that stormwater BMPs (also known as Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems ; SUDS) can make to sustainable urban development through their potential to address the needs and concerns of a diverse group of stakeholders, has been widely recognised (Revitt et al., 2003). These systems include a wide range of structures with different impacts on water quantity and quality, posing different technical constraints and entailing variable costs. However, unfamiliarity with these techniques, and in many cases, the lack of technical knowledge held by stakeholders could influence the decision-making process when selecting appropriate systems. Urban stormwater models such as SWMM, MIKE II, MOUSE, Hydroworks or STORM (for a review of these models see Balmforth et al., 2006; Elliott et al., 2007) are now widely used to assess the impact of control devices on the urban drainage system. Such models provide a good representation of the physical phenomena but, because of their complexity, they are Viavattene et al. 1

11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2008 usually non-user friendly and are generally limited to technical issues (Balmforth et al., 2006). Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are also commonly used to collect and manage the spatial data required as an input for such models. More recently they have also been used as post-processors to accept the output and enable a user-friendly representation of the results (Heaney et al., 2001). In the context of a typical urban development scenario of multiple stakeholders from a wide variety of backgrounds, there is clear potential for the use of such a central data integration and communication tool and as a precursor to analytical modelling. The development of this type of specific GIS tool which will enable stakeholders to identify possible sites for the location of urban BMPs on a catchment-scale represents an obvious stepforward. Currently there are only a few examples of such dedicated tools (Makropolous et al., 2001; Cappiella et al., 2005). Previous approaches, such as that by Scholz et al. (2006), have principally considered the physical characteristics of a site within the framework of a decision matrix with an output in the form of a recommendation for a particular BMP or design configuration. An example of a more interactive approach is that by Jin et al. (2006) involving the development of a GISbased expert system (known as FLEXT) which enables users to apply a series of rules and conditions within a large database containing detailed site-specific information. Although the transfer of data between GIS software and FLEXT is possible, the tool is not yet fully integrated into a GIS platform. The need to include a wider range of issues was addressed by the development of the DayWater Multi-Criteria Comparator; MCC (Ellis et al., 2008) which in addition to site characteristics, also benchmarks the performance of BMPs against a range of technical, environmental, economic, operation and maintenance, social and legal criteria. The research described in this paper integrates the DayWater MCC approach within a GIS platform as part of the EU FP 6 SWITCH (Sustainable Water Management Improves Tomorrows Cities Health) project (www.switchurbanwater.eu). The aim of this approach is the development and application of a GIS decision support tool which facilitates the integration of data from a variety of sources to investigate the potential benefits of BMPs. On a catchment-wide basis, this model allows the user to identify potential areas which are appropriate for the installation of different types of BMPs in relation to site-specific criteria as well as to predict the most appropriate types of BMP for a specific site. The involvement of a wider range of stakeholder interests is then facilitated by the incorporation of the MCC tool with the inclusion of an up-dated methodology to assess the comparative pollutant removal potential of different BMPs (Scholes et al., 2007). Following a description of the development of the model, this paper demonstrates its potential application within the Eastside development in Birmingham (UK), an urban area currently undergoing intensive redevelopment.

METHODOLOGY
In developing a GIS-based decision support system for the identification of appropriate BMPs, the focus has been based on the integration of three relevant components; site characteristics, BMP pollutant removal performance and the inclusion of end-user preferences. Development of GIS platform The Decision Support system has been developed using the Visual Studio.net 2003 development environment with the support of ESRI Arcgis library 9.1 . It is composed of two main interfaces which are viewed simultaneously: the GIS interface and the user-friendly

A GIS based decision support system for the implementation of BMPs

11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2008 interface (Figure 1). The GIS interface consists of a screen where different shapefiles and raster layers can be viewed (see left-hand side of Figure 1). The GIS interface utilises current map tools (e.g. zoom, pan, refresh, up and down layer, add and remove layer) to enable users to interact with the map. The user-friendly interface is a multiple-page dialog box (right-hand side of Figure 1) enabling users to access information, databases and pictures relating to 15 different stormwater BMPs.

Figure 1. Snapshot from the SWITCH BMP decision support system showing both the GIS and user-friendly interfaces.

BMP assessment components Site criteria approach. A variety of site-specific aspects with the potential to influence the use of various BMPs have been widely reviewed in the literature (CIRIA, 2007; Daywater, 2005; Jin et al., 2006; Scholz et al., 2006; WoodsBallard et al., 2007). Based on a consideration of their ease of utilisation within a GIS format, the following indicators have been selected: type of land use (open space, railway, car park, building, pavement, road, verge, water body, other), soil type (clay, silt, loam, sand, gravel), slope (%), depth to groundwater (m) and the presence of flat roofs. Default values which relate BMP type to the indicators are defined, effectively establishing a set of rules which determine which BMPs can be located at a particular site. However, the user is able to change these default settings based on their own knowledge and requirements. BMP pollutant removal potential. To address concerns relating to water quality aspects, the systematic BMP pollutant removal assessment approach developed by Scholes et al. (2007) has been incorporated within the decision support system. This BMP pollutant removal assessment framework involves the combination of field data and expert judgement to assess the potential for seven pollutant removal processes (adsorption, settling, microbial degradation, filtration, plant uptake, volatilisation and photolysis) to occur within a range of BMPs, together with an assessment of the potential for the identified processes to remove pollutants of concern. These two sets of information are then combined to develop a single unit value which identifies the relative potential for a particular pollutant or pollutant group to be removed by specific BMPs.

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11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2008 Multi-criteria comparator. Using this tool, stakeholders are able to assess the performance of BMPs against the criteria listed in Table 1. The performance of each of 15 BMPs is benchmarked against each indicator using default scores (developed during the DayWater project (Ellis et al., 2008)) or alternatively the user can enter their own scores. Users then apply weightings which are combined with the scores to generate a BMP order of preference. Table 1. An example of the use of multi-criteria comparator approach showing (a) its application to swales and (b) the ranked order of BMPs predicted using the same criteria and indicator weightings a) b)
Criteria Technical Criteria weighting 15 Indicators Flood control Pollution control System adaptability to urban growth Receiving water volume impact Receiving water quality impact Receiving water ecological impact Maintenance and servicing requirements System reliability and durability Public heath and safety risks Sustainable development Public/commu nity information and awareness Amenity and aesthetics Life cycle costs Long term affordability Adoption status Building development issues and stormwater regulations Indicator weighting 5 5 5 Swales 2 3 4 BMP Infiltration basin Porous paving Swales Infiltration trench Retentions pond Constructed wetland Detention basin Extended detention basin Green roofs Filter strip Filter drain Soakaway Lagoon Settlement tank Porous asphalt Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10= 10= 12 13 14 15

Environmental

50

25

25

Operation and Maintenance

10

Social and Urban Community Benefits

10

2 1

3 2

5 5 0 5 5

3 4 4 5 3

Economic

Legal and Urban Planning

10

Total (sum of score x weight)

364

A GIS based decision support system for the implementation of BMPs

11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2008 Interactive map functionalities In the decision support system, the assessment method is applied to a vector database (a layer in a shapefile format; polygon type). The layer database contains site characteristic values for each area of land under consideration (i.e. land use type, slope, soil type etc). The site criterion rules are applied to this database to assess the potential for using BMPs, and the results generated can be viewed in three different ways. Potential Areas tool. This tool allows users to identify all the areas within a development site where a particular stormwater BMP may be located, with the results shown on a map (Figure 2 A). The tool helps the user to develop an overview of the opportunities for locating BMPs throughout the studied area. The addition of other layers to the map containing information on water quality or quantity problems could then support the identification of key sites for BMP implementation. Site-by-Site assessment tool. The aim of this tool is to allow users to assess the potential for using all 15 BMPs at a selected location. By pointing the mouse at a specific area on a map, the tool identifies which BMPs could be implemented (Figure 2 B). Additional information is offered to the end user to assist his selection. For example having identified which BMPs may be utilised based on site constraints, the list of possible BMPs can be ranked using the pollutant removal methodology and/or the multi-criteria comparator approach. ADD BMP tool. As with the previous tool, the ADD BMP tool supports users in identifying potential areas for a specific type of BMP. The tool interacts with the map through the use of a mouse (Figure 2 C) such that once a particular type of BMP is selected, the mouse cursor changes into a symbol indicative of the BMP being considered. As the user moves the cursor across the screen, the cursor image changes automatically in relation to whether the area is suitable for the particular BMP being considered. The user can then add the BMP to a dedicated layer which georeferences existing and new BMPs for further use in hydrological stormwater models.

DISCUSSION
The key drivers behind the development of the decision support tool are firstly, the development of a GIS tool which enables stakeholders to identify potential sites for the location of BMPs, and secondly the integration of multi-criteria analysis approach to support wider considerations involved in urban decision processes. In relation to the first objective, the user can use the tool to effectively assess the potential locations for the siting of BMPs through the use of three tools within a GIS interface (Potential Areas tool, Site-by-site tool and the ADD BMP tool). These three options are based on generic site characteristics rules which are applied to site-specific information. Difficulties associated in the collection of field data are identified as a barrier limiting the implementation of decision-support systems in general and the integration of data within a GIS format in particular. To assess the use of this decision support system under such circumstances, the tool has been applied to the Eastside Urban Development for which only a limited amount of data has been accessed. Eastside is a 170 ha area close to the centre of Birmingham which has been undergoing major regeneration over the last ten years. It is planned to become a new learning, technology and heritage quarter for the city and should provide citizens with learning and employment opportunities (Birmingham City Council, 2008). There is a common will, shared by stakeholders, to incorporate sustainable Viavattene et al. 5

11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2008

Figure 2. Snapshot of the three BMP site selection tools (A: Potential Areas tool, B: Site-bySite tool and C: ADD BMP tool) 6 A GIS based decision support system for the implementation of BMPs

11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2008 development into the regeneration programme. According to the Eastside Sustainable Vision (2002), the regeneration programme, as a minimum, must address the European Directives on sustainability in order to meet the criteria of Advantage West Midlands and the European Regional Development Fund. From a water perspective, the city has to manage major issues on water quantity and quality. In particular, the area is subject to rising water tables resulting from a decline in the areas industry and the greater part of the run-off from Birmingham city centre flows towards the River Rea (Eastside Sustainable Vision, 2002). Severn Trent Water Ltd is facing increasing sewer network surcharging problems within its region much of which is related to surface water flooding. For example, Foster et al. (2007) have shown that a large component of the Eastside sewerage network is susceptible to surcharging during a 5 year 60 minute design rainfall event. As a contribution to addressing these issues, the use of BMPs within Eastsides ongoing and future regeneration projects is being considered. With respect to using the developed decisionsupport system, sufficient data has been collected to construct a viable tool (although it is anticipated that additional future refinements will improve the operational aspects of the system). The topographic layer of Master Map data has provided initial information on urban land use types. Further refinement to discriminate between specific land use areas e.g. car parks, other impermeable areas, open spaces, and verges has been achieved using images obtained from Google Earth 2007 and by referring to 2008 Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky. Soil data were obtained from the relevant Ordnance Survey of Great Britain geological map and from the SOILSCAPETM Website (Cranfield University, 2008). Surface slopes have been calculated using the Digital Terrain Model available through the Ordnance Survey/EDINA supply service. The current existence of flat roofs was the most problematic aspect, and initial allocations were achieved by analysing the remote sensing data available within Google Earth. This will be confirmed through on-site investigations. Data collection with regard to groundwater levels across the site is ongoing and will be included together with the incorporation of future development plans as these become available. The current lack of data on site-specific sources and loadings of pollutants, their impact on receiving waters and the preferences of the stakeholders limit the potential to field-test the application of the multi-criteria comparator and the BMP pollutant removal potential components. However, it is possible to demonstrate the potential benefits of the decisionsupport system using a theoretical example. Considering the case of an existing open space (e.g. roundabout or park), the Site-by-Site tool allows the user to assess which of the 15 BMPs could be utilised (see Figure 2B). A user could then refine this list of possible BMPs using both the BMP pollutant removal and/or the MCC comparator components. For example, if a user identified nitrates as a key pollutant, the decision-support tool can be used to generate an order of preference of BMPs which offer the greatest potential to remove nitrate (see column 2 of Table 2 for the 5 most highly ranked BMPs). An example of an order of preference of BMPs for the removal of total suspended solids (TSS) is also presented in Table 2 (column 3) as a comparison. As can been seen in Table 2, if the main pollutant of concern is nitrates then a sub-surface flow (SSF) constructed wetland presents the higher score. If the main pollutant is TSS, then an infiltration basin is recommended as offering the greatest potential for removal. In relation to the 5 most highly ranked BMPs, it is noticeable that infiltration basin and constructed wetland score well for both nitrates and TSS. In contrast, certain BMPs (e.g. soakaways and swales) are present in one list and not the other.

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11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2008 In relation to the incorporation of user preferences, the final two columns show the scores obtained when two different preferences were expressed using the MCC matrix component. The first preference involved an application of a higher weighting on the environmental criterion. In the second preference, higher weightings were applied to criteria linked to project appraisal objectives (i.e. technical, operation and maintenance and economic criteria). The impact of altering the weightings is evidenced by differences in the order of preferences generated. In both cases swales, infiltration basins and retention basins score most highly, although their ranked order varies offering scope, for informed negotiation. One approach to utilising the generated results would be to identify which BMP best meet the needs of all considered aspects. For this particular example, the use of an infiltration basin is shown to offer the best overall performance.

Table 2. Overview of the BMP orders of preference generated with respect to differing priorities.
Ranked position 1 2 3 4 5 Nitrates Constructed Wetland SSF Infiltration basin Constructed Wetland SF Swale Filter strip TSS Infiltration basin Constructed SSF Soakaway Extended Basin Constructed SF Wetland Wetland MCC Preference 1 Infiltration basin Swale Retention basin Constructed Wetland Extended detention basin 393 364 344 342 310 MCC Preference 2 Swale Retention basin Infiltration basin Filter strip Extended detention basin 354 344 343 335 305

CONCLUSIONS
A modelling approach based on GIS has been shown to be capable of handling data from a variety of different tools to form the basis for a user-friendly decision support process which assist stakeholders in understanding and communicating alternative options for the inclusion of BMPs into urban areas. The described tool simultaneously presents the output of three different approaches for identifying appropriate BMPs, offering the end-user information from the specific perspective of site characteristics and pollutant removal as well as from a more holistic consideration of a broader range of social, environmental and economic perspectives (MCC). The next stage in the development of this integration tool is the incorporation of a dialogue with a hydrodynamic stormwater model. It is important to point out that the tool is still in the development phase and that it has not yet been fully trialled with relevant stakeholders. This work is scheduled to take place within the SWITCH project, and will enable an assessment of the potential interest in the approach to be assessed as well as providing constructive comments and suggestions relating to the usability of the approach and its format. It is also hoped that this process will assist with the collection of additional relevant data. In addition to applying this tool within the Eastside development of Birmingham (UK), it will also be trialled in Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Lodz (Poland) and the Emscher region (Germany). These are all case study cities participating in the ongoing SWITCH project. Completion of these field trials will enable the theoretical and analytical limitations of operationally applying this tool to be evaluated.

A GIS based decision support system for the implementation of BMPs

11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2008

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
We wish to acknowledge the support of the EU FP6 SWITCH (Sustainable Water Management Improves Tomorrows Cities Health) project which contributes to the current research described in the paper. We are also grateful to the previous EU FP5 DayWater project which has provided some of the basic methodologies to be used in the GIS tool.

REFERENCES
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