Articles | Volume 16, issue 12
Research article
03 Dec 2012
Research article |  | 03 Dec 2012

Multi-objective optimization for combined quality–quantity urban runoff control

S. Oraei Zare, B. Saghafian, and A. Shamsai

Abstract. Urban development affects the quantity and quality of urban surface runoff. In recent years, the best management practices (BMPs) concept has been widely promoted for control of both quality and quantity of urban floods. However, means to optimize the BMPs in a conjunctive quantity/quality framework are still under research. In this paper, three objective functions were considered: (1) minimization of the total flood damages, cost of BMP implementation and cost of land-use development; (2) reducing the amount of TSS (total suspended solid) and BOD5 (biological oxygen demand), representing the pollution characteristics, to below the threshold level; and (3) minimizing the total runoff volume. The biological oxygen demand and total suspended solid values were employed as two measures of urban runoff quality. The total surface runoff volume produced by sub-basins was representative of the runoff quantity. The construction and maintenance costs of the BMPs were also estimated based on the local price standards. Urban runoff quantity and quality in the case study watershed were simulated with the Storm Water Management Model (SWMM). The NSGA-II (Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II) optimization technique was applied to derive the optimal trade off curve between various objectives. In the proposed structure for the NSGA-II algorithm, a continuous structure and intermediate crossover were used because they perform better as far as the optimization efficiency is concerned. Finally, urban runoff management scenarios were presented based on the optimal trade-off curve using the k-means method. Subsequently, a specific runoff control scenario was proposed to the urban managers.