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Satellite data helps volunteer group build rainwater systems for Middle-East schools

In the Middle East and North Africa, the World Bank estimates that as much as 85% of the region’s water supplies is used to irrigate crops. This irrigation combined with groundwater depletion and the effects of climate change leads much of the region to face chronic water shortages. Outside major metropolitan centers, inadequate water supplies […]

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University of Arizona researchers take a fresh look at an age-old agricultural myth

A theory in debate since the mid-1800s holds that disturbing the soil in dry regions through agriculture allows rain to seep into the ground, raising moisture in the area and eventually coaxing more rain to fall. In other words, according to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Center for Great Plains Studies, “rain follows the plow.” Support […]

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Biofiltration scores big in sports stadium runoff treatment

A self-sustaining biofiltration system prevents flooding in San Francisco’s sport stadium and protects the nearby San Francisco Bay and freshwater resources from stormwater pollutants. Mark Lehnerz of Oldcastle Precast explains how. A large construction project such as a major-league sports stadium can include significant expanses of runoff-generating hardscapes. A venue capable of seating nearly 70,000 […]

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New Orleans offers green-infrastructure grants to residents of flood-prone Gentilly neighborhood

Located along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans’ low-lying Gentilly neighborhood has been a hotbed of flood-control innovation in recent years. As the city’s first “resilience district,” municipal government organizations are collaborating to invest more than $140 million into Gentilly to demonstrate groundbreaking pilot projects that address the area’s chronically stressed drainage systems and […]

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Pacific Institute report summarizes challenges, successes of stormwater capture in California

As natural water sources dwindle, communities across California increasingly rely on imported water. Climate change soon could make water supplies even more scarce. While experts predict droughts in the region to become more common, rainfall also is expected to become heavier and more frequent. A report released by the Pacific Institute (Oakland, Calif.) in June […]

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Analyzing alternatives for managing stormwater

The site of a former Ford Motor Company plant along the Mississippi River in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S., offers a prime location for redevelopment. Authors Bob Fossum, Wes Saunders-Pearce, Nathan Campeau, and Matt Metzger explain the decision-making process used to estimate the benefits and costs of two different approaches for managing runoff from the site. […]

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Standing guard around trees to increase stormwater infiltration

Trees can pack a big punch when it comes to reducing stormwater. But Robert Elliott, former Columbia University (New York) graduate student and co-founder of Get Urban Leaf (New York), believes there is untapped potential for using trees to manage runoff in cities. He led a university study that provides urban planners with information that […]

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Storms as destructive as Hurricane Harvey projected to happen more frequently

When Hurricane Harvey inundated eastern Texas late last August, the eye of the storm loitered over land for nearly a week rather than dispersing as it moved farther from the ocean, as most hurricanes do. The result was a stronger, more destructive storm, which dropped a record-breaking 127 cm (50 in.) of rain and directly […]

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Steel chips purge nearly 99% of E. coli bacteria from runoff in lab tests

In the watershed of the Big Sioux River, a 675-km-long (420-mi-long) tributary of the Mississippi, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources reports that nearly all streams exceed regulatory limits for Escherichia coli bacteria. After a summer storm, runoff drives E. coli levels in some streams to reach as high as 2000 colony-forming […]

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Lessons learned at Empire facility guide state policies

The Metropolitan Council Environmental Services’ (MCES) visionary leadership and close collaboration with regional partners have been key to advancing integrated water management in the US state of Minnesota. Karen Jensen and the MCES team explain how the process began with the Empire water resource recovery facility expansion project. Expansion of the Empire water resource recovery […]

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