Applying Stormwater Management Concepts in Tropical Countries
Stormwater management in tropical countries poses specific problems that have to consider local conditions and particularities. Obviously, with the significant amounts of annual rainfall that are observed in these areas, flooding can be important and flow quantity control is the main objective that a stormwater management plan will usually focus on in the first place. The development of such a plan can however get more complex and difficult for a number of reasons, including the climate and the rainfall patterns, the presence of debris and abundant vegetation, the complex and often unknown configuration of the sewer and canal networks which have limited capacities when compared to the runoff produced during the rainy season. Institutional aspects are also an important part of the equation and they have to be looked at and modified appropriately to ensure that the proposed interventions are properly implemented.
This chapter first describes the general context prevailing in tropical countries regarding stormwater management. Specific elements to be considered are then discussed, highlighting the particularities which often prevent the approaches used in temperate climate for stormwater management to be applied without adjustments in tropical areas. Finally, as an illustration of some of the points discussed, technical analyses and specific results are presented for the City of San José in Costa Rica.
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