“Given that you can’t have everybody move out of the watershed, that’s where low impact development and managing rainwater onsite comes into play,” CJ Huxford explained. “About 25-35 percent of the water you use indoors gets flushed down the toilet or is used in your cold water laundry. So the philosophy is that if you have more people in the watershed with toilet flushing systems, there is a lot of potential cost savings.”
“Through our years of research and advocacy on water management issues, we realized that there was something of a disconnect between information and action. Rain Ready seeks to close that gap by making it easier for homeowners, businesses, and government leaders to create Rain Ready plans," said Harriet Festing. The Rain Ready website features videos and how-to factsheets that show rain readiness in action.
"Several presentations dealt with stormwater management in a larger community context. Several of the speakers expressed interest in writing articles on the topic for Stormwater magazine. This initiated the idea that became our Green Infrastructure & Community Design Series. Colorado-based engineer Paul Crabtree coordinated the effort," stated Janice Kasperson.
By combining sensors and cloud computing, a new pilot project in Chicago provides an innovative solution for what can be an everyday urban problem: rainwater. “We would like to know at a high level whether the green stormwater infrastructure is working,” said Brenna Berman. “Is it preventing rainwater from entering the sewer system? Which designs work better in hard rains versus soft rains? Which work better during long storms versus flash floods?”
The report highlights several innovative green infrastructure stormwater projects. "By examining projects over diverse parts of the country, readers will be able to assess trends and techniques that consider various stakeholders in their stormwater projects," wrote Margaret Buranen. "There are a variety of ways to handle rainwater runoff with green infrastructure and many factors to consider when evaluating options."
"Instead of expanding our infrastructure, we put together a plan to price, value, reuse, recycle, infiltrate, transpire or otherwise manage, every drop of rainwater we could. We started to invent the millions of ways to reduce the amount of rainwater that arrived at our sewer inlets. The goal was to consider rainwater as a commodity and a resource—if it enters a sewer drain it becomes a costly waste product," explained Howard Neukrug.
"Simply put, hydrology hits first and hardest—one could pour an equivalent volume of distilled water into a stream, and the consequences for stream health would be the same as if it was urban runoff," explained RIchard Horner. "Changes in hydrology, not water quality, must be the primary focus of our efforts. If we get the hydrology right, water quality typically takes care of itself in a residential development.
Andy Reese coined the term Voodoo Hydrology in 2006 to describe the misapplication of science that characterizes stormwater management practice. "Perhaps, if we make enough estimates of enough factors, the errors in estimation, high and low, will average out to the right answer. This is where voodoo really comes in handy. The good news is that, as Dr. Tom Debo says, 'Who can prove you are wrong?' Well, the Omniscient Being can, but is probably busy elsewhere," says Andy Reese.
The 1-acre playground includes several green infrastructure elements, including specialized plantings and shade trees, porous pavement and permeable pavers, and a new synthetic turf field featuring a broken stone storage layer and perforated distribution pipes to promote infiltration. “This new playground will provide students and the broader community with a new outdoor space to learn and play,” said Carmen Fariña.
In Detroit, the problem of rainwater management is exacerbated by the fact that the city is seated on a glacial lake plain. The soil is rich in clay, and isn’t easy for water to infiltrate. The city has pivoted to focus on green infrastructure, which can be strategically placed to mitigate localized flooding. According to Wade Rose, vacant land (66,000 parcels) creates an opportunity for environmental interventions on a large scale. “Detroit is one-of-a-kind, as far as habitat goes in the U.S.,” he said.
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
The Water Conservation Calculator illustrates how specific water conservation measures can yield both fiscal and physical water savings for communities. Learn More
This Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
This Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
The BC Agriculture Water Calculator enables water licensing for all irrigation purposes, whether agricultural or landscape. All non-domestic users of groundwater in BC are required to obtain a licence. Learn More