From rain tanks to catchments: use of low-impact development to address hydrologic symptoms of the urban stream syndrome

Asal Askarizadeh, Megan A. Rippy, Tim D. Fletcher, David L. Feldman, Jian Peng, Peter Bowler, Andrew S. Mehring, Brandon K. Winfrey, Jasper A. Vrugt, Amir AghaKouchak, Sunny C. Jiang, Brett F. Sanders, Lisa A. Levin, Scott Taylor, Stanley B. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Catchment urbanization perturbs the water and sediment budgets of streams, degrades stream health and function, and causes a constellation of flow, water quality, and ecological symptoms collectively known as the urban stream syndrome. Low-impact development (LID) technologies address the hydrologic symptoms of the urban stream syndrome by mimicking natural flow paths and restoring a natural water balance. Over annual time scales, the volumes of stormwater that should be infiltrated and harvested can be estimated from a catchment-scale water-balance given local climate conditions and preurban land cover. For all but the wettest regions of the world, a much larger volume of stormwater runoff should be harvested than infiltrated to maintain stream hydrology in a preurban state. Efforts to prevent or reverse hydrologic symptoms associated with the urban stream syndrome will therefore require: (1) selecting the right mix of LID technologies that provide regionally tailored ratios of stormwater harvesting and infiltration; (2) integrating these LID technologies into next-generation drainage systems; (3) maximizing potential cobenefits including water supply augmentation, flood protection, improved water quality, and urban amenities; and (4) long-term hydrologic monitoring to evaluate the efficacy of LID interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11264-11280
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Volume49
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

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