JDR Vol.16 No.3 pp. 310-320
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2021.p0310


Advances in Urban Stormwater Management in Japan: A Review

Yoshihiro Shibuo*,† and Hiroaki Furumai**

*Department of Urban Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

Corresponding author

**Research Center for Water Environment Technology, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

January 24, 2021
January 31, 2021
April 1, 2021
stormwater management, rainfall observation, integrated urban flood modelling, Internet of Things

The series of annual flood disasters that struck Japan in recent years pose challenges to urban stormwater management. Japan has been implementing nation-wide hydrometeorological observation through a dense network of rain gauges. Since the recent decade, ground radars have been deployed to observe heavy rainfall with high spatiotemporal resolution as a countermeasure. While commercial software is popular in designing stormwater drainage systems, several integrated urban flood models have been developed domestically and are applicable in stormwater management. A paradigm shift with the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) provides an inexperienced opportunity in hydrological observation, and has been implemented for monitoring sewer network conditions. Despite this broad scope of research works and technological innovations, such advancement is not internationally recognized yet. The present study aims to review the development and role of science and technology in stormwater management in Japan, focusing specifically on rainfall observation, integrated urban flood modelling, and emerging technologies for stormwater monitoring. In addition, the possible future direction of stormwater management is envisioned. Considering the series of record-breaking rainfall events that struck Japan, we will have to face more severe challenges in urban flood management alongside the impact of global climate change. As compared to structural measures, which are subject to budgetary constraints, the relative importance of non-structural measures is increasing; therefore, effective application of numerical modeling techniques is required. A common weakness of the urban flood modeling framework is the limited availability of observations in sewer networks, which can be relaxed by emerging IoT based observations. The fusion of IoT based observations with an integrated urban flood modeling technique appears to the emerging technology for stormwater management.

Cite this article as:
Yoshihiro Shibuo and Hiroaki Furumai, “Advances in Urban Stormwater Management in Japan: A Review,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.16, No.3, pp. 310-320, 2021.
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