DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT – The destruction of watersheds, intensified by climate change, and the high demand for land for anthropogenic use brought about the need for a National Drainage Code for Antigua and Barbuda, to establish acceptable thresholds and guide developments to develop land sustainably and for increased resilience.

The Drainage Code will set forth minimum, uniformed requirements for stormwater systems across the island of Antigua and Barbuda. This will be based on 3 levels of flood zone delineation, defined based on topography, flood risk, and past events. This activity falls under the Adaptation Fund (AF) project which commenced in September 2021.

Through the implementation of the minimum requirements stipulated within the code, the following objectives will be achieved:

  • To minimize the impact on waterways from changes to natural flow regimes, including flooding frequency, runoff volume, runoff frequency, and flow velocity from urban development;
  • To ensure urban developments do not have an adverse impact on downstream properties;
  • To protect waterways from pollution, including nutrients, toxicants, sediments, litter, and changes to water chemistry. 
  • To encourage the integration of drainage systems into the urban landscape to maximize the usual and recreational amenity of developments. 
  • To ensure new habitable buildings are protected from flooding in major storms and new subdivisions provide overland flow paths for all surface flow.
  • To ensure drains have sufficient capacity to convey pre-determined storm events and guarantee flooding is not a regular nuisance or to ensure that the hydraulic design and review of existing and planned drainage network and hydraulic structures meet pre-determined performance target
  • To ensure all new drainage assets being delivered through the land development process are constructed safely and do not present the community and the stakeholders with ongoing safety issues.

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