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Urban drainage - the alternative approach

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conference contribution
posted on 12.02.2018, 15:09 by R.Y.G. Andoh
The paper presents an alternative drainage philosophy and strategy which mimics nature’s way by slowing down (attenuating) the movement of urban runoff. This approach results in cost-effective, affordable and sustainable drainage schemes. The alternative strategy can be described as one of prevention rather than cure by effecting controls closer to source rather than the traditional approach which results in the transfer of problems downstream, compounding the problem, resulting in its cumulation and, the need for large scale centralised control. The alternative strategy is set in context relating to the evolution of current practice and the implications of fragmented institutional responsibilities. Issues relating to socio-economic factors and appropriate development are discussed and the alternative strategy is shown to incorporate tenets of a holistic approach. The paper concludes by recommending the adoption of the alternative strategy for the provision of urban drainage infrastructure in developing countries. It suggests that this paradigm shift should help developing countries to leap frog the developmental stages in their provision of effective urban drainage infrastructure for their rapidly burgeoning urban centres.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


ANDOH, R.Y.G., 1994. Urban drainage - the alternative approach. IN: Pickford, J. et al. (eds). Affordable water supply and sanitation: Proceedings of the 20th WEDC International Conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 22-26 August 1994, pp.147-150.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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