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Less pervious space does not necessarily mean more flash floods

Urbanization affects flash-flood risks differently in eastern and western U.S. For many water professionals, it may seem like Stormwater Management 101: As cities grow and develop over pervious spaces, stormwater runoff has increasingly fewer places to soak into and often flows into urban waterways. But how that extra runoff entering streams affects flash flooding may […]

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Houston, Texas, considers massive underground stormwater tunnel project

Although downtown Houston, Texas, sits only about 15 m (50 ft) above sea level, enough room exists underground to build a massive tunnel system for stormwater conveyance, according to the preliminary results of a Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) inquiry. The conveyance system would span about 16 km (10 mi) and consist of tunnels […]

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WEF Announces Fifth Year of MS4 Award Winners at WEFTEC 2019

Twenty-two high-performing municipalities and one university received recognition in the fifth annual National Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Awards on Sept. 23. These awards celebrate administrators of municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) that perform beyond regulatory requirements. Developed and introduced in 2015 by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental […]

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Ahead of the game

New visualization tool mixes FEMA data with video-game technology to model flood damages before they occur The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a long list of tools and datasets to help U.S. residents understand their specific property’s risk of experiencing severe flooding. However, terms like 100-year flood and storm surge do little to […]

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Not your father’s 100-year storms

Study claims stormwater infrastructure design standards fail to keep pace with today’s precipitation Stormwater management regulations have come a long way since U.S. Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972. Back then, stormwater dischargers were largely exempt from National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency developed specific regulations […]

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Groundwater injection turns a challenge into an opportunity, say University of Texas researchers

As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas — including the water management challenges. Depending on the weather, many Texans routinely deal with either too much or too little water. Over two weeks in 2017, for example, Hurricane Harvey delivered approximately 80 million acre-feet of water to southeastern parts of the state — enough […]

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New flood model: Slight increases in rainfall can create major traffic disruptions

Many of the modeling tools that public works agencies, disaster response organizations, and watershed managers use to predict the effects of flooding from major storms do not consider a detail that makes a major difference, according to new research: land elevation. A study published in May in the journal Nature Communications describes a new flood-modeling […]

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Report: Green and gray infrastructure work together to enhance service, cut costs

Green infrastructure often requires more frequent upkeep and maintenance than gray infrastructure, generally entails more financial risk, and its effectiveness largely depends on its location. However, a newly released joint report by the World Bank (Washington, D.C.) and the World Resources Institute (WRI; Washington, D.C.) offers a new perspective on how to increase green infrastructure’s […]

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U.S. EPA crowns winners of 7th annual Campus RainWorks Challenge

On April 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of its 7th annual Campus RainWorks Challenge. The competition tasks college students and faculty nationwide with designing innovative, on-campus stormwater management features. These features need to demonstrate how green infrastructure can mitigate runoff pollution, reduce local flooding, and create new amenities that enhance […]

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Volunteers ‘Adopt-a-Drain’ to improve urban stormwater management

According to estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 1 in 4 Americans donate their time each year as volunteers. A growing number of U.S. municipalities are capitalizing on residents’ willingness to pitch in with new volunteer programs that support stormwater management and protect vulnerable waterways. In the Minneapolis–St. Paul (Minn.) metro area, […]

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