Tag Archives: Spotlight

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Ontario Environmental Commissioner releases 4-step stormwater funding reform plan

According to the latest installment of Canada’s annual Canadian Infrastructure Report Card, more than 650 stormwater-related urban floods throughout the country levied damages to more than 66,000 private properties between 2009 and 2016. To help prevent these damages, fix existing stormwater infrastructure, and accommodate future growth, the office of Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Canadian city “prices” 150 local trees for National Tree Day

While it may be true that “money doesn’t grow on trees,” the City of Hamilton (Ontario, Canada) wants residents and visitors to know that each tree can add thousands of dollars to the value of its surrounding community. To help raise awareness of both the economic and ecological benefits provided by local trees, city environmental […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Chicago gives away trees to prevent flooding, help city wildlife

The emerald ash borer and extreme weather events have destroyed approximately 13 million trees in the Chicago area. To help remedy that the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) staff began distributing more than 14,000 oak tree saplings. The distribution is part of Restore the Canopy, Plant a Tree in Cook County, Ill. […]

Continue Reading