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Detention ponds can play a significant role in managing stormwater runoff flows, even in developed urban areas. Of course, there are site concerns that must be addressed. In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, high groundwater levels restrict the amount of infiltration that is permissible and influence the design of the ponds (wet versus dry). Also, the large land areas required for the ponds requires strategic land use planning so that the ponds can be incorporated into Dubai's beautification scheme.

The consultants established design criteria specific to Dubai to maximize the efficiency of stormwater collection systems, including systems that incorporate the use of detention ponds. Criteria such as minimum pond storage volumes and clear times are technically based. Other criteria – such as pond geometry, water depth, the use of linings, and alternative land uses – are based on a combination of recognized engineering concepts, public safety issues, and economics. A major challenge was establishing design criteria to provide consistent implementation while accounting for variations in conditions at each pond location.

The implementation of Dubai's stormwater management plan is well underway, and multiple detention ponds are now either in operation or under construction. The first pond constructed using the design criteria is now in operation. It now handles stormwater runoff and excess collected groundwater flows from an area previously prone to prolonged flooding while adding to the scenic landscape of Dubai.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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