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Climate change impacts in the design of drainage systems: case study of Portugal

Modesto Gonzalez Pereira, M. G., Sanches Fernandes, L. F., Barros Macário, E. M., Gaspar, S. M. and Pinto, J. G. (2015) Climate change impacts in the design of drainage systems: case study of Portugal. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 141 (2). 05014009. ISSN 0733-9437

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)IR.1943-4774.0000788


This paper aims to assess the necessity of updating the intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves used in Portugal to design building storm-water drainage systems. A comparative analysis of the design was performed for the three predefined rainfall regions in Portugal using the IDF curves currently in use and estimated for future decades. Data for recent and future climate conditions simulated by a global and regional climate model chain are used to estimate possible changes of rainfall extremes and its implications for the drainage systems. The methodology includes the disaggregation of precipitation up to subhourly scales, the robust development of IDF curves, and the correction of model bias. Obtained results indicate that projected changes are largest for the plains in southern Portugal (5–33%) than for mountainous regions (3–9%) and that these trends are consistent with projected changes in the long-term 95th percentile of the daily precipitation throughout the 21st century. The authors conclude there is a need to review the current precipitation regime classification and change the new drainage systems towards larger dimensions to mitigate the projected changes in extreme precipitation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:37936
Publisher:American Society of Civil Engineers


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