18.06.2019 -

Sustainable Drainage Systems based on natural concepts

The Sustainable Drainage Systems Course (SUDS) was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 28 and 29 May organized by the Faculty of Engineering of the National University of Buenos Aires (FIUBA), the Secretariat of Infrastructure and Water Policy (SIPH) and the Dams Safety Regulatory Agency (ORSEP) with the support of UNESCO's International Hydrological Program (IHP) through the Regional Ecohydrology and Urban Waters Programs. The course presented the principles of SUDS and its application to the management of urban floods with solutions based on natural concepts. It had a participatory approach, with the objective of integrating the different visions of professionals involved in the management of urban waters.

Argentina is a country severely affected by extreme climatic events that provoke urban and rural floods, making necessary the implementation of policies, infrastructure development and the promotion of research to obtain a better knowledge of these phenomena so to face them in a better way. This was how the National Water Plan emerged in 2016, with the objective of generating strategies to adapt the territory to these climatic events and to innovate in water resources management.

As in Buenos Aires, it is common for the development of cities to generate waterproofing of the terrain, which, due to the existence of intense rains, causes more and more areas affected by floods. The traditional response has been the development of infrastructure that usually requires a strong investment, which is not always available. Sustainable Drainage Systems are considered as alternatives with low environmental impact, allowing to reduce surface runoff by reducing impermeable areas. There are several SUDS solutions that generally tend to mimic those conditions before urban development, such as infiltration, lamination at source, greenfield development, or reuse.

The course had a participation of over 80 professionals who work in the area of urban water management in Argentina, with representatives of the public administration, management planners, designers and private entrepreneurs. The professional in charge of the Course Organization was Eng. Rodolfo Dalmati, professor of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Buenos Aires and the Specialist in the subject that dictated the course was Dr. Sara Perales Momparler, professor at the University Polytechnic of Valencia and member of Green Blue Management. The course was supported by IHP Programme Coordinators: Marcelo Gaviño - Ecohydrology Program - and Carlos Berroeta B. - Urban Waters Program - who gave a talk in relation to the Program he coordinates at the Regional level.

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