An analytical model of rainfall interception by urban trees

An analytical model of rainfall interception by urban trees

Jie Ying (Jenny) Huang, MLWS 2016

Modelled rainfall interception of four common street tree species

Urban trees are recognized for their capacity in improving air quality, aesthetic values, and reducing energy consumption, while their ability to help divert rainfall and reduce urban runoff are often overlooked. This study provides an analytical model on rainwater interception performance of a selection of common urban trees in Metro Vancouver, given a series of climatic and tree characteristics. The model outputs and interface are designed to inform and enhance decision support tools that are used in the development of stormwater management plans and permit applications associated with urban development projects.
Specific goals of this study include:

  • Developing a rainfall interception model with different approaches to deriving model parameters
  • Validating the model with empirical data collected in the District of North Vancouver
  • Evaluating the sensitivity of major model parameters
  • Investigating the seasonal rainfall interception performance of four deciduous tree species
  • Projecting future interception performance of selected tree species under climate change scenarios

The rainfall interception model provides useful information to address several aspects of urban stormwater management for different stakeholders. The potential audiences who will benefit from the outcomes of this study are people involved in urban planning and management of stormwater such as city/municipal planners, engineers, developers, and local decision makers.

View full report in the Canadian Water Resources Journal (PDF)