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Unique Seawall Design Provides Rain-or-Shine Benefits

Building seawalls around high-traffic coastal areas such as piers, boardwalks, and beachfronts often can provide suitable protection from storm surges, but this added security can entail a social cost. In many cases, seawalls obstruct ocean views. Even worse, while seawalls may confine floodwaters to the beach, they also can restrict convenient ocean access by pedestrians […]

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The Magic Numbers

A look at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Atlas 14 study When stormwater professionals design projects to prevent flooding from rainfall, they need to know how much precipitation their area can expect to receive during both common rain events and exceptionally intense storms. While modeling systems are invaluable tools to help develop […]

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Maryland partners with Opti and Walmart on ‘smart pond’ trials

With next-generation technology appearing in more and more parts of water resource recovery facilities, a new partnership in Maryland is considering an interesting question: Can implementing technology directly in retention ponds and other control features lead to more effective stormwater management? Making retention ponds smarter Typical stormwater retention ponds accept large volumes of water during […]

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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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