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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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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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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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Study: To combat toxic algal blooms, focus on phosphorus

The results of an experiment spanning nearly a half-century at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) claim that if water stewards want to stem the growth of harmful algal blooms, they should focus on phosphorus rather than nitrogen. The discovery, made by the same research organization credited with identifying phosphorus as […]

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City of Dayton Department of Water / Art: Ashley Simons

Dayton, Ohio, storm-drain murals remind public to keep contaminants out of waterways

The City of Dayton (Ohio) Department of Water wants to make sure citizens understand that stormwater pushes whatever contaminants are in the streets into storm drains and out into local waters. Rather than building signposts next to storm drains or mailing out informational flyers, the utility, which serves an area alongside the Great Miami River, has […]

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Visit the new website.

New website provides resources for public–private partnerships

In December, the organization, P3GreatLakes Initiative, launched a new website, www.P3GreatLakes.org, to be a resource for public–private partnerships (P3) and other innovative market-based economic instruments to promote green stormwater infrastructure (GSI). The website aims to provide information on P3s, stormwater credit trading, environmental impact bonds, and other innovative economic instruments that may assist in the […]

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Op-ed urges green measures for cost-effective stormwater management

On Oct. 8, an op-ed penned by John M. Erb, president and chairman of the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation (Royal Oak, Mich.), appeared in the Detroit Free Press. The piece, which followed a special series of articles outlining the ecological, economical, and political problems surrounding chronic pollution in Lake St. Clair, […]

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Town of Rocky Ripple, Butler University, Indianapolis move forward on White River flood barrier

Occupying less than 81 ha (200 ac) between the White River and a canal on the northwestern edge of Indianapolis, flood protection is a serious matter for the small town of Rocky Ripple (Ind.). Lacking any infrastructure of its own to contain overflow from the river, the town’s less-than-700 residents routinely pay thousands of dollars […]

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$1.5 million green infrastructure investment transforms Chicago schoolyard

Renovations to a Chicago elementary school campus totaling $1.5 million will allow the space to retain more than 492,103 L (130,000 gal) of stormwater. The schoolyard’s transformation will promote physical activity, accommodate STEM-focused experiential learning, reduce runoff pollution, and demonstrate the benefits of green infrastructure construction as well as reduce flood risks. Watch a 3-minute […]

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Removing fallen leaves can improve urban water quality

The timely removal of leaf litter can reduce harmful phosphorus concentrations in stormwater by more than 80% in Madison, Wis., according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study. Autumn leaf litter contributes a significant amount of phosphorus to urban stormwater, the study found. The USGS-led study, Evaluation of Leaf Removal as a Means To […]

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