A critical review of the Urban Rational Method

Engineers Australia
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of H2009 the 32nd Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, 2009, pp. 1424 - 1433
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Since ARR 1987 improved statistical techniques have been presented which are ideal for producing regression relationships relating different catchment characteristics to peak flow. A unique feature of the quantile regression technique is that as different catchment characteristics become more or less important to peak flow their varying significance can be incorporated. For example the importance of losses declines for larger longer events where previous areas become saturated and start to contribute runoff. As a first step towards carrying out the quantile regression work, a database of available gauged data has been compiled. The data base is still being finalised however at the end of the proofing process, whereby gauges are checked for length of record, completeness, quality, ratings, stability of upstream development, it is expected that only a handful of gauges will be found to be suitable. Given the paucity of data it is not possible to establish relationships, by regression, between various catchment characteristics and peak flow for urban catchment. Thus the paper calls for a focus on urban gauging in Australia. This paper suggests that a goal be established, for the establishment of urban gauging sites across Australia (and the maintenance of existing sites) with the suggestion being that such work can be funded as part of climate change research.
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