Rapid urbanisation and its consequent increase in impermeable surface areas and changes in land use has generally resulted in problems of flooding and heavy pollution of urban streams and other receiving waters. This has often been coupled with ground water depletion and a threat to water resources.

The first part of this 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, resulting in its cumulation and the need for large scale, centralised control.

The second part describes a research project which has been launched in order to quantify the cost and operational benefits of source control and distributed storage. Details of the methodology of the modelling and simulation processes which are being followed to achieve this target are presented.

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