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China embarks on massive stormwater projects to plan for future water risks

China is midway through its decades-long South—North Water Transfer Project, a massive system of aqueducts intended to convey 44.8 billion m3 (11.8 trillion gal) of fresh water each year from China’s rural, rainy south to its drier and more urbanized north. However, the country also is exploring far-reaching ways to use stormwater as the basis […]

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Figure 1 from the 2018 publication (originally Figure 2.1 in the 2013 report) presents trends in different types of natural catastrophes worldwide from 1980 to 2016. The updated data shows a continuation of the trends previously observed whereby climate-related extreme events are rising, with a particularly sharp increase in hydrological events. (Data from MunichRE Natcatservice/EASAC)

New data updates earlier findings on extreme weather events

The European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC; Halle, Germany) recently released a publication that updates a previous 2013 EASAC report with new data showing that extreme weather events have become more frequent during the past 36 years. The new findings — which confirm the conclusions in the original report and extend the previous analysis — […]

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Porous pavement strengthened with waste carbon fiber composite material maintained infiltration rates above acceptable levels. (Photo courtesy of Washington State University)

Researchers use waste carbon fiber to strengthen permeable pavement

Researchers in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Washington State University have demonstrated that permeable pavement can be improved with the addition of recycled carbon fiber composite material. Associate research professor Karl Englund and Assistant professor Somayeh Nassiri supplemented permeable concrete mixes with composite scraps sourced from Boeing (Chicago) manufacturing facilities and found […]

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State-of-the-art Hong Kong flooding project recognized for innovation and creativity

Located between a busy highway and Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, Happy Valley Recreation Ground is a heavily frequented hotspot for locals and tourists alike. But during the rainy season, the appeal of the low-lying neighborhood’s museums, sports fields, and horse-racing track is compromised by its high susceptibility to stormwater flooding. In 2008, for example, the […]

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These three tanks are part of the 113,500-L (30,000-gal) capacity stormwater capture and reuse system at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta. In all, the system has eight tanks. Stormwater, air conditioner condensate, and ice machine meltwater are collected and reused in the hotel’s cooling towers.

Simple hotel stormwater capture and reuse system benefits local environment

While rainy days during a vacation or business trip aren’t ideal, the Grand Hyatt Atlanta hotel in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, uses a simple stormwater collection and reuse system to make the most of wet weather. The hotel captures rain water from flat portions of its roof and an outdoor zen garden. It also […]

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Habitual flooding affects many parts of low-lying South Carolina during heavy rainstorms. With mounting pressure for municipalities to address their stormwater readiness, diverse South Carolinian communities are implementing equally diverse tactics and fundraising schemes to limit runoff pollution. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

South Carolina municipalities find success with site-specific stormwater management plans

In South Carolina, which barely escaped the brunt of Hurricane Irma last summer, municipal stormwater managers are demonstrating that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to limit runoff pollution. And as the risks of poorly conceived stormwater management plans heighten with more frequent and more intense precipitation, the state’s big cities and beach towns are taking […]

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City of San Jose doubles down on stormwater control with ‘green streets’

The City of San Jose (Calif.) is demonstrating that when more than one green infrastructure measure comes together, impervious areas responsible for chronic stormwater management problems can become key parts of the solution. On Nov. 4, the City of San Jose Environmental Services Department (ESD) unveiled stormwater-focused retrofits to Park Avenue, a main thoroughfare in […]

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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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Revised consent decree extends timeline for crucial Baltimore City wet weather improvements

Since 2002, the City of Baltimore has worked alongside state and federal regulators to reduce the occurrence of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). An original consent decree compelled Baltimore to substantially improve its handling of SSOs by 2016, but technical and financial difficulties necessitated a longer timeline to achieve meaningful results. Pending court approval, a proposed […]

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