Where is Urban Hydrology Practice Today?

by D. Earl Jones, Jr., (M.ASCE), Civ. Engr.; Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Housing Administration, Washington, DC,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 2, Pg. 257-264

Document Type: Journal Paper


The evolution of urban street construction and its effects upon urban drainage is traced. Rational method development and inconsistencies in its application are summarized. The emphasis is on lack of absolute precipitation data with resultant inhibiting effects upon development of improved runoff prediction methods. Need for two drainage systems on each urban drainage area is defined. It indicates dual system dividends are reduced drainage costs, reduced flooding losses, and the opportunity to enhance property values, stabilize neighborhoods, and improve urban life quality. Some basic methods for managing urban runoff are also indicated to attenuate peak flows. A low maintenance channel is identified as being more realistic than usual urban channel designs. It points out that direct losses from and expenditures for urban drainage approximate four billion dollars per year. The nation could realize disproportionately great returns from urban hydrology research. The big question is, Does the nation consider it necessary?

Subject Headings: Drainage systems | Urban areas | Hydrology | Runoff | Streets | Construction management | Precipitation | Floods

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