Investigation of the Potential Threat of Urban Flood at Mountainous Areas through Low Impact Development Techniques (Case Study: Ardabil City)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Graduated M.Sc. in Civil Engineering-Water Resource Management and Engineering, Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran


Mountainous areas are highly exposed to storm rainfalls due to the climate conditions in these regions. The current study mainly aimed to identify the channels and potential regions for inundation and flooding in Ardabil, a mountainous city in Iran, using molding capabilities of the SWMM software. Additionally, the functionality of low-impact development (LID) techniques in decreasing the floods of urban mountainous areas (Ardabil city) was investigated. In this research, the existing conditions in the study area, including the region’s slope, the dimensions of the surface run-off collection channels, and the surface water disposal method, were evaluated by reviewing the existing reports and conducting field visits. To calibrate and validate the SWMM model outputs, the amount of rainfall and run-off height within the channels settled in the basin were field-measured during two storm rainfall events. In the current research, green roof, porous asphalt, infiltration trench, and rain barrel scenarios were applied as the LID techniques. In the section of single scenarios, a green roof was the most effective one reducing the run-off by 12%. In the combination of green roof and porous asphalt scenarios, the run-off water volume dropped by 19%. Finally, by combining all the LID techniques, a 30% decrease in the run-off volume was observed. This study also revealed that the use of LID techniques in combining scenarios is superior to the application of single scenarios. Meanwhile, a combination of two scenarios is preferred owing to the ease of implementation.


  1. Qin, H., Li, Z. & Fu, G. (2013). The effects of low impact development on urban flooding under different rainfall characteristics. Journal of Environmental Management, 129, 577–585.
  2. Jia, H. et al. (2015). LID-BMPs planning for urban runoff control and the case study in China. Journal of Environmental Management, 149, 65–76.
  3. Palla, A. & Gnecco, I. (2015). Hydrologic modeling of Low Impact Development systems at the urban catchment scale. Journal of Hydrology, 528, 361–368.
  4. Martin-Mikle, C.J. et al. (2015). Identifying priority sites for low impact development (LID) in a mixed-use watershed. Landscape and Urban Planning, 140, 29–41.
  5. Zeng, Z., Yuan, X., Liang, J., & Li, Y. (2021). Designing and implementing an SWMM-based web service framework to provide decision support for real-time urban storm water management. Environmental Modelling & Software, 135, 104887.
  6. Ahiablame, L. & Shakya, R. (2016). Modeling flood reduction effects of low impact development at a watershed scale. Journal of Environmental Management, 171, 81–91.
  7. Kwak, D., Kim, H., & Han, M. (2016). Runoff control potential for design types of low impact development in small developing area using XPSWMM. Procedia Engineering, 154, 1324-1332.
  8. Baek, S. S., Ligaray, M., Pyo, J., Park, J. P., Kang, J. H., Pachepsky, Y. ... & Cho, K. H. (2020). A novel water quality module of the SWMM model for assessing low impact development (LID) in urban watersheds. Journal of Hydrology, 586, 124886.
  9. Chen, Y. et al. (2020). Effectiveness evaluation of the coupled LIDs from the watershed scale based on remote sensing image processing and SWMM simulation. European Journal of Remote Sensing, 54(sup2), 77–91.
  10. Pour, S. H., Abd Wahab, A. K., Shahid, S., Asaduzzaman, M., & Dewan, A. (2020). Low impact development techniques to mitigate the impacts of climate-change-induced urban floods: Current trends, issues and challenges. Sustainable Cities and Society, 62, 102373.
  11. Hou, J. et al. (2020). Optimal spatial priority scheme of urban LID-BMPs under different investment periods. Landscape and Urban Planning, 202, 103858.
  12. Taghizadeh, S., Khani, S. & Rajaee, T. (2021). Hybrid SWMM and particle swarm optimization model for urban runoff water quality control by using green infrastructures (LID-BMPs). Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 60, 127032.
  13. Mohammed, M. H., Zwain, H. M., & Hassan, W. H. (2021). Modeling the impacts of climate change and flooding on sanitary sewage system using SWMM simulation: A case study. Results in Engineering.
  14. Ben-Daoud, A., Ben-Daoud, M., Moroșanu, G. A., & Rabet, S. M. (2021). The use of low impact development technologies in the attenuation of flood flows in an urban area: Settat city (Morocco) as a case. Environmental Challenges, 100403. 10.1016/j.envc.2021.100403.
  15. Nazari, A., Roozbahani, A., & Hashemy Shahdany, S. (2021). Urban Storm water Management by Optimizing Low Impact Development Techniques and Integration of SWMM and SUSTAIN Models. Journal of Water and Wastewater; Ab va Fazilab (in Persian), 32(4), 136-151. 10.22093/wwj.2021.285296.3138.
  16. Yang, W., Zhang, J., & Krebs, P. (2022). Low impact development practices mitigate urban flooding and non-point pollution under climate change. Journal of Cleaner Production, 347, 131320.
  17. Huang, J. J., Xiao, M., Li, Y., Yan, R., Zhang, Q., Sun, Y., & Zhao, T. (2022). The optimization of Low Impact Development placement considering life cycle cost using Genetic Algorithm. Journal of Environmental Management, 309, 114700.
  18. He, L., Li, S., Cui, C. H., Yang, S. S., Ding, J., Wang, G. Y. ... & Ren, N. Q. (2022). Runoff control simulation and comprehensive benefit evaluation of low-impact development strategies in a typical cold climate area. Environmental research, 206, 112630.
  19. Aghili Mahabadi, N., Zarif Sanayei, H., Hatefi, S. (2022). Prioritization of Low-Impact Development Methods for Management of Urban Surface Runoff, Using the Fuzzy TOPSIS and TOPSIS Method (Case Study: Sepahan-Shahr Town, Isfahan), Amirkabir Journal of Civil Engineering, 53(11), 18-18. /10.22060/ceej.2020.18619.6909.
  20. Zanjanian, H., Sarang, A. (2022). Quantitative and Qualitative Storm water Modeling Using Low Impact Development Approach (Case Study: District 10 of Tehran Municipality), Journal of Environmental Science Studies, 7(1), 4521-4530. 10.22034/jess.2022.142080.
  21. Rossman, L. A. (2015). Storm water management model user's manual, version 5.1 (p. 353). Cincinnati: National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency.
  22. Panahi, G., & Esmaili, K. (2018). Recommendation of New Approaches for Urban Flood Management. Journal of Water and Sustainable Development, 5(1), 93-100. 10.22067/jwsd.v5i1.62583.
  23. Movahedinia, M., Mohammad vali samani, J., & Barakhasi, F. (2017). Flooded areas reduction analysis by means of low impact development, rain barrel. Water and Irrigation Management, 7(1), 1-16. 10.22059/jwim.2017.63736.