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Facial recognition AI sizes up hailstorms before they happen

Predicting the size and expected runoff volumes from hailstorms is notoriously difficult, according to researchers with the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Because cloud systems that produce rain often have different features than those that produce hail, conventional prediction methods often fail to yield accurate forecasts. NCAR researchers investigating the challenge of hailstorm […]

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USDA studies plant nursery runoff remediation

What’s the difference between a crop field and a large commercial plant nursery? As it turns out, very little — at least in terms of runoff generation. Although nurseries generally grow tree crops and ornamental plants in pots rather than fields, both field crops and nursery planters contribute to water pollution when rain washes excess […]

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USGS: Urbanization threatens biodiversity in southeastern U.S. streams

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has released the results of a new study highlighting a looming threat to vulnerable marine life in the coming decades: urbanization. In the Piedmont region, which stretches from southern New York to central Alabama, the urban coverage of cities such as Washington, D.C., and Atlanta is expected to nearly triple […]

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What you need to know about starting a stormwater credit trading program

A new resource from Stormwater Currency guides trading-minded municipalities Just as municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permittees and others subject to stormwater regulations seek out the cheapest and easiest ways to achieve compliance, regulatory agencies have a vested interest in making compliance simpler without sacrificing environmental benefits. In a growing number of U.S. cities, […]

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Homeless shelters partner with Fairfax County, Va., to improve waterway health

People experiencing homelessness often have a difficult time securing work even when highly qualified. At the same time, municipal stormwater agencies working under limited budgets are always in search of outside-the-box ways to keep an ever-growing volume of urban debris out of waterways. A water quality-focused pilot program in Fairfax County, Va., aims to connect […]

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New York City wetland project balances economy, ecology

In today’s urban development landscape, striking a balance between economic prosperity and environmental stewardship is increasingly difficult. If property developers fill wetlands and other natural landforms that accept stormwater runoff, provide habitat for wildlife, and control erosion, the result is often increased flooding and decreased biodiversity. On the other hand, development can stagnate if local […]

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Stormwater and stream restoration agencies achieve more by working together, study finds

To help curb the effects of urban runoff on streambank erosion, the question municipalities must confront is whether to reduce flows or toughen channel banks. The best answer, according to Rod Lammers, lead author of a new University of Georgia (Athens) research article exploring ways to optimize erosion control, is both. The challenge is getting […]

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Louisiana to receive $1.2 billion federal grant for flood projects

When Hurricane Katrina tore across Louisiana in 2005, decimating wide swaths of New Orleans, the region’s vulnerability to flooding from severe storms became a cautionary tale for municipalities around the world. In the years since, local, state, and federal governments have spent more than $20 billion surrounding the city with updated flood control measures, explored […]

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Enter the 8th annual EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge

The deadline to register for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2019 Campus RainWorks Challenge is Oct. 15. Following the registration deadline, participating teams have until Dec. 17 to submit their complete entries. The challenge is open to colleges and universities across the U.S. and its territories, and registration is free. Now in its eighth […]

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Researchers find floods one image at a time with new monitoring network

Flooding costs billions of dollars in damage annually in the U.S. alone, but finding reliable ways to determine when flooding occurs, predicting the intensity of that flooding, and communicating warnings to the public remains a challenge. Researchers at Northern Arizona University (NAU; Flagstaff) have launched an ambitious project aimed at making floods easier to track. […]

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