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Rainwater Capture: Design

Both public-side and lot-­level (private-­side) measures are important for effective mitigation of urban flood risk


“Basement flooding is one of the most substantial drivers of natural disaster losses in Canada,” states Dan Sandink. “Our report explores legal tools that could be used to require private property owners in existing developments to better manage excessive rainwater and protect against flood risk. We examine the legal implications of applying these tools in the Canadian municipal context.”

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YOUTUBE VIDEO: Green Infrastructure Takes Stormwater Management ‘Back to the Future’ – Andy Reese, engineer and writer


Andrew Reese sees stormwater management going “back to the future” faster than a 1982 DeLorean with a “flux capacitor.” Even if you don’t get his clever reference to the Steven Spielberg movie, it suffices to say: Big changes are coming out when it comes to regulating pollutants in stormwater. And, it turns out, mimicking nature with green infrastructure can provide a reliable means of meeting new standards.

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NEWS FROM DOWN UNDER: Australia in need of fresh approaches toward urban drainage and urban design


City of Melbourne Councillor Aaron Wood nominated water sensitive urban design as a means by which to manage flood and other risks as a critical part of the city’s push to become more sustainable. Melbourne and other Australian cities had in the past been excessively reliant upon large scale engineering solutions to flood risk management, taking an approach that required the construction of large drainage systems beneath city streets, said Wood.

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“In the City of Surrey, an absorbent landscape that slows, sinks and spreads rainwater is becoming a requirement for new development,” states David Hislop, Upland Drainage Engineer


“Soil depth is a primary water management tool for use by local government to adapt to a changing climate. A well-designed landscape with healthy topsoil helps communities through both wet and dry times. Soil is a sponge. It holds and slowly releases rainwater. This can limit runoff during rainy weather; and reduce irrigation water need during dry weather. In the City of Surrey, we specify a minimum soil depth of 300 mm,” states David Hislop.

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News about Chesapeake Bay, USA: Local municipalities seek solutions that are both effective and not overwhelmingly costly


Caught in the middle of the stormwater runoff issue are “urbanized” municipalities, including most boroughs and townships in eastern Cumberland County in Pennsylvania, which are required to reduce stormwater pollution by 60 percent by 2025. There are ways to mitigate the cost through intermunicipal cooperation, Kirk Stoner said, and the county has organized a working group involving all the municipalities required to complete a pollution reduction plan.

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VIDEO – Slow the Flow: Make Your Landscape Act Like a Sponge


The State of California has released a film series to bring to life simple practices that individuals and communities can do to become stewards of their watersheds and slow the flow of stormwater from homes and businesses when the rain returns. “When much of California is facing drought and limited water supplies, capturing and reusing every drop of water will not only be clever, but crucial,” wrote Paula Luu.

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Flashback to 2006: Research Report on Decentralized Stormwater Source Controls Defined the State-of-the-Practice for CSO Reduction


“Capturing rainwater where if falls offers appealing technical alternatives to stormwater runoff capture than conventional end-of-pipe measures. Decentralized controls have the potential to reduce the frequency and volume of CSO events. In addition, a decentralized approach to stormwater management allows communities the flexibility to respond to everchanging economic and environmental conditions,” stated Neil Weinsten.

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Capture Rain Where It Falls: 8 Shades of Green Infrastructure


“While ‘grey’ or traditional infrastructure remains an essential part of safe and effective design for flood control and urban watershed management, it is no longer the only tool in the toolbox. Green infrastructure systems, by contrast, harness natural processes to infiltrate, recharge, evaporate, harvest and reuse stormwater,” writes Laura Tam.

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