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Roadway runoff causes long-term sensory damage in Pacific Northwest salmon

Toxic roadway pollutants captured and conveyed by stormwater pose a serious threat to coho salmon and other fish in the Pacific Northwest’s urban watersheds. New research from Washington State University (WSU; Vancouver) shows that green infrastructure can help reduce mortality rates, but that pollutants can still potentially make fish more susceptible to predators.   Salmon’s […]

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U.S. EPA and USGS collaborate on new surface-water modeling tool

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to combine two popular streamflow analysis tools into a single, integrated resource. The Surface Water Toolbox (SWToolbox), which has not yet been released to the public, will allow users to compute an extensive number of metrics associated with modeling how surface […]

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Stormwater practices fail to remove road salt

Road salts commonly used in the winter to melt ice and keep roads clear are not being effectively absorbed by mitigation measures, allowing the salt to reach groundwater and wells, according to Joel Snodgrass, professor and head of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.). “Current stormwater management practices don’t […]

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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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Gulf of Mexico researchers examine effects of Hurricane Harvey floodwaters

What happens when a hurricane sends fresh rainwater — up to 124.9 trillion L (33 trillion gal) of it — into the saltwater ocean? In the case of normal-sized storms, the rainwater, which is less dense than saltwater, typically sits atop the ocean in a distinct “blob,” which generally mixes into the ocean within hours […]

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‘Rainstorm generator’ predicts more frequent – but less intense – dryland thunderstorms

In the lowest and most arid parts of the Colorado River basin, moisture from the ground rises into the atmosphere before condensing rapidly to form frequent and sudden thunderstorms. These storms, which typically control the flow of runoff, provide irrigation for river-bank plants, supplement water supplies, and affect the chance that the river will flood, […]

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Australian student invents award-winning stormwater mapping toolbox

When Esri (Redlands, Calif.) first released the ArcGIS spatial analysis platform in 1999, it empowered users to visualize abstract data in a way that put computer-assisted watershed planning (literally) on the map. Just under two decades later, the open-source platform now enables seamless map-sharing, intuitive rendering features, and has inspired a dedicated circle of coders […]

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High school student wins U.S. EPA award for Portland flood mitigation study

After taking home the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award from the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (IISEF) in May, a high school junior from Oregon will present his research at next year’s EPA National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. Adam Nayak of Cleveland High School (Portland, Ore.) […]

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Stormwater credit trading could ease Chesapeake Bay pollution, study says

Chesapeake Bay, the third-largest estuary in the world, has a chronic nutrient pollution problem. In 2010, gradual runoff pollution from more than 13.6 million people living in the watershed grew to national concern, prompting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set strict total maximum daily load (TMDL) regulations limiting nutrient emissions. Meeting those regulatory […]

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Billions spent worldwide to improve “natural” green infrastructure

The term green infrastructure generally refers to manmade structures that mimic the absorptive water control properties of nature. But more and more engineers, academics, and regulators are recognizing that the term also includes the very forests, meadows, and wetlands that inspire bioswales, porous hardscapes, and rain gardens. Last September, Governor Jerry Brown of California introduced […]

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