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U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Offers $500K for New Streamflow Forecasting Methods

Predicting how runoff from heavy storms will affect the amount of water flowing through streams, rivers, and other surface waters is critically important for stormwater professionals and watershed managers. Accurate streamflow forecasting helps the water sector prepare for flood events, develop water supply plans, design infrastructure that suits the unique hydrological conditions of its surroundings, […]

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Hurricane Hanna Hampers Annual Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Survey

The crew of the R/V Pelican, which serves as the flagship research vessel for the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), set off on its annual voyage into the Gulf of Mexico on July 25 to measure the size of this year’s summer dead zone. Based on predictions made by the team in June that considered […]

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New Online Resource Centralizes MS4 Knowledge

Meeting permit requirements for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) NPDES Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program is often a complex process. To maintain compliance, MS4 permittees must not only fund and operate effective stormwater infrastructure, but also perform public outreach and year-round environmental monitoring. While information exists online to help guide success in […]

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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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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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Chesapeake Bay grasses unfazed after record-breaking precipitation

In 2017, the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP; Annapolis, Md.) recorded 42,448 ha (104,893 ac) of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, marking the first year the bay’s SAV surpassed 100,000 acres since CBP began conducting annual surveys in 1984. Results from CBP’s 2018 investigation, published in July, suggest that Chesapeake […]

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USGS estimates impervious parking lot coverage for all 3,109 U.S. counties

According to automotive industry analysts with Hedges & Co. (Hudson, Ohio), there were more than 275 million registered motor vehicles in the U.S. in 2018. Accommodating that number of vehicles requires an enormous network of parking lots, the vast majority of which are made of impervious pavement that rainwater cannot infiltrate. Until now, researchers have […]

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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 suggests revamped guidelines for U.S. EPA industrial stormwater permit

More than 2000 industrial facilities nationwide are subject to stormwater monitoring and control requirements under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). Ahead of an update to the permitting program expected in 2020, EPA enlisted researchers from the National Academies for Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to highlight weak points in the existing […]

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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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