Tag Archives: Research

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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Re-engineered permeable concrete can help cool sweltering urban summers

Anyone who’s ever lived in a city is probably more familiar than they’d like to be with the urban heat island effect, which causes cities to become significantly hotter than their natural surroundings. The effect has many causes, but one big contributor is impermeable concrete. In many cities, impermeable concrete covers more than 30% of […]

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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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Study: Green infrastructure can spread disease when poorly planned

Green infrastructure designs that fail to consider the effects of the installation’s placement or the types of wildlife it may attract can increase risks of spreading serious diseases, according to research published in the journal, Ecology and Epidemiology. “There seems to be a prevailing assumption among the general public that everything that is nature – […]

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New scale helps meteorologists measure positives and negatives of atmospheric river storms

Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are a newly understood phenomenon, officially defined by the American Meteorological Society (AMS; Boston) just 2 years ago. ARs – narrow, fast-moving bands of highly concentrated atmospheric water vapor that commonly stretch hundreds of miles in length – often result in severe rain or snow storms when that vapor makes landfall. On […]

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Passing planes pull added precipitation from clouds

From releasing greenhouse gases while in the air to discharging fuels, lubricants, and other potentially toxic chemicals before takeoff, countless studies have determined that air travel has an undeniable effect on the environment. Now, a newly published study, led by University of Helsinki (Finland) researchers, finds that planes flying above clouds during precipitation events can […]

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USDA: Growing rice helps farmers curb pesticide water quality risks

More than 40,000 different varieties of rice are grown on every continent (except Antarctica), making rice one of the world’s best-loved food crops. And according to new findings from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers, rice crops also have a secondary function: They keep pesticides and other contaminants out of vulnerable waterways.   The problem […]

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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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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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Steel chips purge nearly 99% of E. coli bacteria from runoff in lab tests

In the watershed of the Big Sioux River, a 675-km-long (420-mi-long) tributary of the Mississippi, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources reports that nearly all streams exceed regulatory limits for Escherichia coli bacteria. After a summer storm, runoff drives E. coli levels in some streams to reach as high as 2000 colony-forming […]

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