Tag Archives: Climate change

Increasing Dependence on Mountain Meltwater Could Threaten Lowland Agriculture

California’s Central Valley generates an estimated $17 billion in crop sales each year while occupying less than 1% of farmland in the U.S., according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). In many southern stretches of the Central Valley, as much as 50% of water currently used for agricultural irrigation originates from the Sierra Nevada mountains, […]

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Air, Land, and Sea: Airports Embrace Stormwater Management to Protect Water Quality

Often containing miles of impervious runways, ubiquitous chemical demands for sanitation and safety purposes, and enormous fleets of vehicles with the potential to drip fuels, airports face unique stormwater management challenges.

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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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WEF Stormwater Committee webcast convenes East Coast climate change experts

Eastern U.S. coastal communities are particularly sensitive to ice-melt in the Arctic Sea, according to hydrologist David Vallee. Vallee, the Hydrologist-in-Charge at the National Weather Service’s Northeast River Forecast Center (Norton, Massachusetts), was one of three stormwater experts to discuss the effects of climate change on coastal and riverine areas of the eastern U.S. during […]

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Researchers sound alarm about storm effects on lake ecology

In a new study published in the journal Global Change Biology, a team of researchers from 20 countries highlight a gap in scientific knowledge about how stormwater might affect phytoplankton growth and the health of lakes and similar freshwater bodies. Because climatologists expect climate change to cause more intense and frequent storm events, the global […]

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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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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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City of Hampton, Va., considers ‘pay-for-success’ funding strategy to enhance resilience

In coastal Hampton, Va., city planners are considering an innovative financing strategy to support new green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects. This aims to turn the tide against the severe weather and rising sea levels that have led to increased flooding. The city hopes that by issuing “environmental impact bonds” (EIBs) to investors who seek financial, […]

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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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Green infrastructure limits flood risk, say insurers

A new Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC; Toronto, Ontario) report urges communities to consider green infrastructure to limit flood risk. IBC is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto, and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty insurance market in Canada. The report, Combatting Canada’s Rising Flood […]

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