Tag Archives: Research

Experts Identify Long-Sought Stormwater Contaminant Behind Salmon Deaths

When it rains during salmon-spawning season around Seattle, Washington, as many as 90% of the coho salmon arriving in freshwater streams to reproduce will not survive the journey. Local environmental scientists, such as Jenifer McIntyre at Washington State University (WSU; Puyallup) and University of Washington (Seattle) engineering professor Edward Kolodziej, have spent years working alongside […]

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Researchers Look to the Stars for Insight on Wildfires, Mudslides

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) are performing both terrestrial and extraterrestrial soil experiments to develop new tools for the fight against mudslides. UCSD structural engineer Ingrid Tomac is leading a team studying the behavior of individual raindrops to better understand — and hopefully, prevent — mudslides.  The team formed a partnership […]

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Studies Explore Complex Relationship Between Stormwater and Groundwater

U.S. scientists are working to better understand the complex relationship between coastal storms and groundwater, as well as how that relationship may be changing. Recent studies suggest intensifying storms may be a double-edged sword for coastal communities: greater stormwater volumes may present higher risks for water quality and necessitate a more thorough treatment process, but also may help […]

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Study: New Trees Bring Stormwater Benefits Even Before Full Maturity

Planting native trees en masse can help prevent flooding by enhancing soil’s ability to absorb rainwater and provide a multitude of additional benefits, such as new wildlife habitats, greater carbon sequestration, and higher property values. For these reasons and more, seeding new forests and woodlands is a staple of green infrastructure approaches around the world. […]

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Report: Green Infrastructure Helps Preserve Access to Transportation

Green infrastructure can help improve flood resilience in low-income communities at typically lower costs than conventional pipes and pumps, but it is not the best fit for every neighborhood. It is the job of stormwater and transportation professionals to identify specific areas where implementing green infrastructure can make a crucial difference for public safety and […]

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German Researchers Measure Rainfall by Studying Radio Waves

Conventional approaches to studying rainfall patterns across both large distances and long timeframes suffer from a Goldilocks problem. For example, while a rain gauge may provide comprehensive precipitation data for a specific point on a near-constant basis, accurately capturing the variable nature of rainfall across a watershed may require researchers to deploy too many gauges […]

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Salt Marshes and Seawalls Work Together to Minimize Flood Damages

Salt marshes — coastal wetlands common to northern parts of the globe that flood and drain with the movement of ocean tides — are prized for their ability to protect coastal communities by shrinking and slowing ocean waves. However, according to a recently published study, contemporary and historical data underscore an even more important function […]

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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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Study: Beavers Transform Forests into Wetlands Over Many Decades

In urban environments, humans pave over landscapes that would otherwise absorb stormwater. However, it turns out humans are not the only species that disrupts natural hydrological processes as their habitats develop. By cutting trees, digging canals, and building dams, beaver colonies shape their forest dwellings in ways that transform flooding patterns, the local food chain, […]

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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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