Publication (2021) : modelling the effects of urban stormwater control measures

Marlène Rio, Christian Salles, Marie-George Tournoud (2021). Modelling the effects of stormwater control measures on runoff volume and particulate load in urban catchments. Urban Water Journal, 18 (2), 79-90. DOI:, Link to HAL:

Abstract. Today, urban stormwater management is moving towards Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) that encourage water storage and infiltration to reduce urban runoff and contaminant transfer. Modelling tools are required to quantify SCMs benefits at catchment scale. Based on an original method of land cover representation in a rainfall-runoff model, this paper aims at assessing the impacts of permeable pavements and rooftop disconnection on runoff generation and Suspended Solids (SS) wash-off over urban surfaces. Six application catchments are delineated in a densely urbanised area of southern France as representatives of typical urban land uses. The results highlight significant reductions in runoff volume and SS loads, especially for the lowest return periods of the design storm. The scenarios’ benefits are variable among the catchments, emphasising the importance of considering urban space specificities for prioritizing the implementation of SCMs. The proposed method can easily be transposed elsewhere and extended to large urban catchments.

Forthcoming event (4 May 2021): visiting the CHU site

A new step in the development of the high resolution rainfall gauge network. On 20 April 2021, a distance meeting was held with the University hospital centre (CHU). The implementation of new rainfall gauges on the CHU site was granted.

The Urban observatory team will visit the CHU site on 4 May with the purpose of identifying possible locations for the rainfall gauges.

Media (02 Feb. 2021): the urban observatory appears on France 3 evening news

On 2 February 2021, France 3 Languedoc-Roussillon broadcasted a report about “Montpellier, captital city of water” . Part of it focused on our observation tasks over the Verdanson-Lez catchment.

The shooting took place on 1 February 2021. The sequence features the main two observation tasks at present: high-density rainfall measurement and flow monitoring.

This 30 second sequence can be viewed from 12’19” onward as online streaming in the 2 February 2021 news.