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Climate change and development have intensified flash floods around the world

While average temperatures gradually warm in most parts of the world, resulting in increasingly frequent and intense rainstorms, human expansion and development continue to disrupt the natural landscape’s ability to manage stormwater runoff. According to the first global analysis of how these trends already have affected rates of both precipitation and runoff generation, existing climate […]

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‘How high is your river?’ asks CrowdHydrology citizen science project

In 2010, a smartphone-based campaign that called on motorists to report roadkill sightings in California via text message inspired University of Buffalo (UB; N.Y.) hydrogeologist Chris Lowry to undertake an experiment. If it didn’t require any prior knowledge or specialized equipment besides the small computers we carry in our pockets, could ordinary people help gather […]

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Digital stormwater management puts valuable information in the cloud

Starting in early 2017, citizens curious about how Chicago’s bioswales and porous asphalt handled storms could log on and watch real-time data upload to their screens. Though the portal is no longer being updated, the test project it represented was a success. This May, the City Tech Collaborative, based at the UI LABS nonprofit research […]

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First-ever NMSA State of Stormwater report highlights common challenges for U.S. MS4 permittees

The National Municipal Stormwater Alliance (NMSA; Alexandria, Va.), a group of municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permittees from around the U.S., released its first annual state-by-state review of MS4 program updates, challenges, and needs on Aug. 13. The 2018 NMSA State of Stormwater report analyzes the effectiveness of MS4 programs in 14 states and […]

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Storms as destructive as Hurricane Harvey projected to happen more frequently

When Hurricane Harvey inundated eastern Texas late last August, the eye of the storm loitered over land for nearly a week rather than dispersing as it moved farther from the ocean, as most hurricanes do. The result was a stronger, more destructive storm, which dropped a record-breaking 127 cm (50 in.) of rain and directly […]

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Ambitious partnership sets goal to plant 10 billion water-cleaning oysters in Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Oyster Alliance (COA), a new coalition of non-profit groups, corporations, and universities in Virginia and Maryland, are working together to achieve a lofty goal: introduce 10 billion new oysters into the Chesapeake Bay by 2025. As oyster larvae grow, their shells accumulate algae and sediment from their surroundings. According to the Chesapeake Bay […]

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U.S. EPA and USGS collaborate on new surface-water modeling tool

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to combine two popular streamflow analysis tools into a single, integrated resource. The Surface Water Toolbox (SWToolbox), which has not yet been released to the public, will allow users to compute an extensive number of metrics associated with modeling how surface […]

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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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WEF to host the first NGICP train-the-trainer workshop at WEFTEC 2017

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) has announced the first train-the-trainer workshop for the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP). This workshop, held in conjunction with WEFTEC 2017 in Chicago, will ensure the quality and consistency of NGICP trainers as the program grows. The 2.5-day workshop is open both to the NGICP founding partners and […]

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Australian student invents award-winning stormwater mapping toolbox

When Esri (Redlands, Calif.) first released the ArcGIS spatial analysis platform in 1999, it empowered users to visualize abstract data in a way that put computer-assisted watershed planning (literally) on the map. Just under two decades later, the open-source platform now enables seamless map-sharing, intuitive rendering features, and has inspired a dedicated circle of coders […]

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