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UK parliament committee calls for new approaches to flood management

Faced with predictions from the U.K. government’s recent National Flood Resilience Review to expect 20% to 30% more intense rainfall due to climate change in coming years, the bipartisan Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Committee of Parliament last month released a report calling for a complete overhaul of how the country approaches its vulnerability to […]

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Tree hydration system made from recycled diaper material minimizes stormwater runoff

Using watering bags to nurture young trees can help ensure a moist soil environment as the plants develop root structure. But standard watering bags require constant refills, and do little to deter stormwater runoff pollution. However, a new product made from the same material used in disposable diapers can catch and retain rainwater before releasing […]

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NCAR study portends extremely rainy 21st century

If trends toward warmer climates continue at the same pace that they have during the last few decades, the U.S. could see extreme rainfall events up to four times more frequently by the end of the 21st century, a new study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR; Boulder, Colo.) finds. These storms could […]

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Telescopic walls could rise on demand to stop flood waters

A University at Buffalo (UB; N.Y.) Ph.D. student has created what he hopes become “rise on-demand” flood walls. Jorge Cueto devised a patent-pending system of telescoping rectangular fiber-reinforced concrete boxes. The walls can be installed below ground level, to avoid blocking any water views, and can be raised when the threat of flooding occurs. Cueto […]

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Urban design software matches abandoned land parcels to green infrastructure projects

When Nicholas de Monchaux, an associate professor of architecture and urban design at the University of California, Berkeley, began his “Local Code” project almost 7 years ago, he set out to address two of the most pressing problems facing modern cities. Local Code uses open-source software to match thousands of abandoned city lots with site-specific […]

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U.S. EPA releases draft of long-term guide for stormwater planning

To help address the growing problem of runoff pollution in American cities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a step-by-step guide on Oct. 27 that will advise communities through the implementation or improvement of their own long-term stormwater management plans. The guide aims to prevent flooding as well as help communities reach broader economic […]

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Colorado schools screen video to save stormwater dollars

Grand Valley Drainage District (GVDD; Grand Junction, Colo.) has come up with an unconventional approach to get the word out to students about its work within the Colorado River watershed. If public, private, or charter schools show students a 3-minute video outlining the history, activities, and purpose of the GVDD, those schools will be reimbursed […]

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Stormwater management conversation hits Minnesota airwaves

After a 20-cm (8-in.) rainstorm — more than an average month’s worth of rain for the area — led to rampant flooding across central and southern Minnesota on the night of Aug. 11, the problem of managing stormwater came to the forefront of public attention and hit the airwaves on public radio. Identifying the problem […]

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EPA awards green infrastructure grants to Great Lakes cities

As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ongoing Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, more than $2 million will be distributed among 13 cities in Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, and New York this year to fund green infrastructure projects. The grants, which were awarded on Aug. 10, are expected to fund projects that will prevent […]

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NOAA launches improved national streamflow forecast model

In direct response to a call by the Obama administration for innovations in the conservation of domestic waterways earlier this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its partners on Aug. 16 unveiled a comprehensive forecasting model to predict the movement of rivers and streams across the continental U.S. The National Water Model […]

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