ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

Since its inception, Low Impact Development (LID) has become part of urban stormwater management across the United States, marking progress in the gradual transition from centralized to distributed runoff management infrastructure. The ultimate goal of LID is full, cost-effective implementation to maximize watershed-scale ecosystem services and enhance resilience. To reach that goal in the Great Plains, the multi-disciplinary author team presents this critical review based on thirteen technical questions within the context of regional climate and socioeconomics across increasing complexities in scale and function. Although some progress has been made, much remains to be done including continued basic and applied research, development of local LID design specifications, local demonstrations, and identifying funding mechanisms for these solutions. Within the Great Plains and beyond, by addressing these technical questions within a local context, the goal of widespread acceptance of LID can be achieved, resulting in more effective and resilient stormwater management.
Content may be subject to copyright.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... Despite a consensus in the scientific community supported by USEPA on the benefits of GSI (Grabowski et al., 2022), implementation of such practices, although growing in some parts of the world (McPhillips & Matsler, 2018;Shandas et al., 2019), has yet to enjoy widespread global adoption (Deely et al., 2020;Matthews et al., 2015;Vogel et al., 2015). Consequently, many studies have explored the barriers stymieing GSI uptake in different contexts and determined what factors have contributed to their success in overcoming the barriers, or lack thereof. ...
... The most commonly cited barrier in this category is a lack or inadequacy of GSI-specific technical knowledge among practitioners (e.g., contractors, engineers, and urban planners) (Choi, 2009;Hossain et al., 2019;Johns, 2019;C. Li et al., 2019;Ureta et al., 2021;Venkataramanan et al., 2020;Vogel et al., 2015;Wihlborg et al., 2019). Along with the knowledge gaps within the relevant communities of practice, many articles cite a lack of clear guidelines for GSI maintenance at the local scale as a persistent challenge (Derkzen et al., 2017;Drosou et al., 2019;Jayakaran et al., 2020;Keeley et al., 2013;. ...
Article
Rapid urbanization, aging infrastructure, and climate change impacts have put a strain on existing stormwater drainage systems. One commonly acknowledged solution to relieve such stress is Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI). Interest in GSI technology has been growing. However, the level of implementation in many areas around the world lags behind the interest level. This study aims to critically review the body of literature from the last decade to determine the main barriers to wide adoption and the offered solutions to overcome them. Based on a review of 92 peer‐reviewed journal articles published between 2012 and 2022, we classify barriers and solutions into six categories: socio‐cultural, financial, institutional and governance, legislative and regulatory, technical, and biophysical. Based on observations and conclusions from the reviewed articles, we recommend the following pillars and considerations for more GSI adoption: increasing awareness and outreach programs; enhancing knowledge and data co‐production and dissemination; acknowledging interdependency and context‐specificity of many of the challenges and solutions; prioritizing integrated and participatory watershed planning; overcoming institutional path‐dependencies; prioritizing innovative solutions; giving specific consideration to maintenance protocols; considering the role of public entities; and actively engaging with communities. This article is categorized under: Engineering Water > Planning Water Water and Life > Conservation, Management, and Awareness Schematic illustrating the review process and identified categories of barriers and solutions to widespread adoption of Green Stromwater Infrastucture (GSI), as well as some of the conclusions/ observations from the offered solutions.
... Green stormwater management practices are effective to control runoff volume and to provide ecosystem services (Dhakal and Chevalier 2016;Vogel et al. 2015). The literature reflects a variety of stormwater management studies providing or addressing a subcategory of ecosystem services: provisioning (Gittleman et al. 2017;Ackerman 2012), regulating (Ishimatsu et al. 2017;Klimas et al. 2016;Chen et al. 2014;Doherty et al. 2014;Berland and Hopton 2014), cultural (Attwater and Derry 2017;Kati and Jari 2016), and social (Kopecka et al. 2017;Hassall 2014). ...
... The use of the triple-bottom-line approach (USEPA 2015), i.e., environmental (improved air quality and habitat restoration), economic (job creation, development, and increased property values), and social benefits (recreational opportunities and reduction in crime), is a needed direction to obtain a holistic view of green stormwater management practice benefits as a guide for local governments (Environmental Finance Center, University of Maryland 2017). Some of the major limitations of such a proposed holistic view are the lack of valuation data, which often requires the transfer of estimated economic values for ecosystem services based on other studies to a different location and context (Johnston et al. 2015;Freeman 2014), modeling limitations (Jayasooriya and Ng 2014), knowledge gaps regarding the benefits and effectiveness of single or a combination of different practices in small watersheds (Connop et al. 2016;Vogel et al. 2015), and rarely quantified social benefits (Prudencio and Null 2018). In this study, we explore modeling limitations and benefits of green stormwater management practices to understand how specific practices affect ecosystem services in small watersheds. ...
... Gray infrastructure, such as conveyance pipes, large centralized storage basins pump stations, and treatment facilities historically served society's needs for water security, public sanitation, and flood protection. Over recent decades, green infrastructure systems have emerged as a promising flood risk management alternative or complementary to gray infrastructure (Ferguson et al. 2013;Vogel et al. 2015). ...
... However, over time, this system causes negative environmental impacts to downstream receiving environments and exacerbates the pressure from climate change, and subsequently erodes the resilience of cities (Bell et al. 2019). Over recent decades, green infrastructure systems have emerged as a promising flood risk management alternative or complementary to gray infrastructure (Ferguson et al. 2013;Vogel et al. 2015). Green stormwater management infrastructure treats stormwater as a resource to be infiltrated, stored, and/ or re-used at the site instead of dealing with runoff as waste Moore et al. 2016;Zhang et al. 2017). ...
... Permeable pavements are often recommended as a stormwater control measure (SCM) (Collins et al., 2008;Vogel et al., 2015;Zahmatkesh et al., 2015) since they reduce runoff volume and peak flow rates (Bean et al., 2007;Hunt et al., 2002) and improve runoff quality (Brattebo and Booth, 2003;Brown and Borst, 2015;Fassman and Blackbourn, 2011;Myers et al, 2011;Sansalone and Buchberger, 1995;Drake et al., 2014;Wardynski et al., 2013;Tirpak et al., 2020). (Liu and Armitage, 2020). ...
Thesis
While urban development provides many services to humanity, it also substantially impacts the environment and ecology of natural areas. Urbanization involves the conversion of forested and agricultural lands to impervious surfaces such as buildings, houses, roads, parking lots, and sidewalks. Stormwater runoff occurs when rainfall is not captured in depressional storage or is unable to infiltrate the soil surface. Land use changes may increase the generation and transport of pollutants and rate and volume of stormwater runoff, leading to increased pollutant load, flooding, in-stream erosion, and elevated stream temperatures. In urban areas developed prior to the Clean Water Act, stormwater is, in many cases, discharged without treatment. In recent decades, low impact development techniques, such as stormwater control measures (SCMs), have been increasingly adopted by municipalities to mitigate urban non-point source pollution. Efficacy of SCM retrofits run the gamut from success to failure. Thus, there is a need to fully understand the factors that affect stormwater quality and quantity to guide management. Urban land use and land cover (LULC) has been recognized as a strong influencer of stormwater quality and hydrology. Herein, I performed a meta-analysis utilizing stormwater quality data from the published literature spanning 360 unique urban watersheds. Furthermore, I monitored stormwater quality and hydrology from (urban and forested) watersheds in Ohio. Results indicate water quality can be further improved with a regionalization scheme. More specifically, regional climate substantially affected the quality of runoff. From the meta-analysis, it was observed that there is an absence of stormwater quality in certain regions of the world, one of which was the midwestern United States. Thus, stormwater models cannot be accurately calibrated or validated for this region. Analysis of local stormwater data (i.e., Dayton, Ohio metropolitan area) revealed LULC and rainfall patterns influenced the quality of runoff. Recent data also suggest stormwater quality is not temporally static (i.e., over years or decades), which opens various avenues for future research. Though design of SCMs is typically based on predicted runoff volume or peak flow rate, findings from water quality monitoring suggest placement of SCMs should also be considered in design (e.g., locate SCMs in hot spots for the generation of a pollutant of interest). Due to simplified hydrologic models, subjective parameter selection, and changing climatic patterns, the prediction of hydrologic responses contains large uncertainty. To bolster widely accepted models, I compared monitored hydrologic responses to predicted responses utilizing a variety of methodologies. Model performance varied with rainfall depth and watershed characteristics such and LULC and imperviousness. Thus, there was no one best model for every scenario, but the provided discussion will aide managers in selecting which model would provide the most accurate results under given circumstances. SCMs are often retrofitted with pollutants of concern in mind; however, these systems may provide treatment for other non-target pollutants. For example, stream temperature has been identified as the most important environmental cue to aquatic species behavior. Thermal impairments to receiving streams are commonly associated with impervious surfaces, yet ponds, wetlands, detention basins, and other noninfiltrating SCMs that are commonly retrofitted (or installed in new developments) further exacerbate stormwater temperature as they are subjected to solar radiation, often with little shading. Infiltrating SCMs such as bioretention and permeable pavements have shown promising reductions in stormwater temperature at the site-scale, but it is still unknown how a network of SCMs retrofitted at the watershed scale can ameliorate thermal impacts. My goal was to address this gap in knowledge to better inform other management strategies (e.g., riparian buffers, clustered imperviousness, underground storage/conveyance) that may need to be considered to protect cold-water ecosystems. Results indicate the best method of reducing thermal mass exported to receiving streams is through runoff volume mitigation, as runoff temperatures (monitored at watershed outlets) from watersheds with SCM retrofits were not different from watersheds without SCMs. It is commonly accepted in the literature that hydrologic mitigation is most critical for reducing the export of priority pollutants. In the final chapter of this dissertation, I addressed the effectiveness of five different maintenance techniques (two of which are new to the literature) to restore hydraulic function across five different permeable pavements by quantifying surface infiltration rates (SIRs) before and after maintenance activities. Three of the maintenance activities significantly improved SIRs, but results varied in effectiveness based on in-situ pavement conditions and operational factors. Thus, many maintenance take-aways were addressed such as performing maintenance during dry periods, topping up of joint aggregate after maintenance, and avoiding permeable pavement in high traffic/high speed areas.
... A series of fundamental and applied questions still remains unsolved for the general utilization and development of LID techniques, which actually requires further and systematic investigations through extensive practical programs (Vogel et al. 2015;). The main challenge in implementation of concaved grasslands is how to efficiently evaluate retention effectiveness, optimize structural configuration and spatial placement (Wang & Banzhaf 2018;Tansar et al. 2022). ...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, scale-based runoff plots of concaved grasslands were designed and simulated rainfall experiments were conducted to investigate their retention effectiveness for runoff volume and pollutant loads, and to analyze the influences of concaved depths on runoff and pollution retention of grasslands. Results showed that mean time to runoff of concaved grasslands was 88.5 minutes, which was 5.3 times than that of flat grassland. Average peak flow rate of concaved grasslands was reduced by 36.2% compared with flat grassland. Concaved grasslands averagely retained 58.2% of stormwater runoff. Deeper concaved depths significantly increased runoff detention and retention performance of grasslands. TSS load reduction rates of concaved grasslands were ranged from 50.8% to 97.3%. TN load reduction rate was 49.8% for concaved depth of 10 cm. TP load reduction rates were 45.0% and 93.9% for grasslands with 5 cm and 10 cm concaved depths, respectively. Pollution load reduction rates of TSS, TN and TP enhanced along with the increase in concaved depths. The estimated minimum area ratios of upslope impervious surface to grasslands of 5 cm and 10 cm concaved depths were approximately 1:1 under 20 mm rainfall events, and 38:1 under 5 mm rainfalls, respectively.
... However, stormwater infrastructure can reduce the potential for ecosystem development by, for example, reduction of infiltration and groundwater recharge (McGrane 2016;Roy et al. 2008). By contrast, sustainable management practices through BGI mimic 'predevelopment' dynamics to control runoff volume and timing (Prudencio and Null 2018), enhancing urban ecosystems (Dhakal and Chevalier 2016;McGrane 2016;Vogel et al. 2015) and increasing resilience to anticipated climate change (Barbosa, Fernandes, and David 2012;Hamel, Daly, and Fletcher 2013;Pyke et al. 2011;Stephens et al. 2012). ...
Article
Ecosystem service (ES) assessment tools do not yet consider some of the most common urban pollutants and this study contributes to filling this gap. The methodology employed in the Modelled Estimates of Discharges for Urban Stormwater Assessments (MEDUSA) was implemented within the Land Utilisation and Capability Indicator (LUCI) to allow urban pollutant issues to be considered within a broader ES assessment context. Two land use change scenarios for the Ōtākaro/Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand, were assessed for 2011–2020 and 2041–2050. Implementation of a limited set of blue-green infrastructure for 2011–2020 resulted in a reduction of TSS by 5–12%, of Zn by 2–5%, and of Cu by 4–7%. The simulated pollutant load values for future climate change scenarios clearly reflected the uncertainty in climate change predictions. The expanded LUCI can be employed for strategic planning of the implementation of treatment methods and types to protect waterways.
... We have incorporated uncertainty in the weather by examining the impact of different magnitudes of floods for rainfalls with different return periods. Other uncertainty factors may also influence the reliability of LID designs computed (Vogel et al., 2015), such as uncertainties associated with economic and model parameters used as input for the optimization problem. For an actual field application, one would need a detailed field survey (Büchele et al., 2006) about socio-economic data (e.g., building type and building quality and costs) for assembling the localized damage functions used in the LID design optimization. ...
Article
Full-text available
Optimization algorithms and urban inundation models are powerful tools to identify cost‐effective designs of urban green infrastructures such as low‐impact developments (LIDs). Most previous LID design optimization studies are based on one‐dimensional (1D) inundation models, which cannot provide spatial information of flooding. The LID design optimization on two‐dimensional (2D) models or coupled 1D‐2D models was rarely explored due to the expensive computing time. This work investigates the effectiveness of surrogate optimization methods for LID design, which have not been used for the LID design problems. We propose a general LID design optimization framework that searches the optimal LID configurations based on both the spatial flood damage under a series of probable flood events and the life cycle costs (LCCs) of LID. We demonstrate the framework using a case study for an urban catchment with 55 sub‐catchments and 103 LID decision variables. We tested two different surrogate optimization methods designed for high‐dimensional problems: DYnamic COordinate search using Response Surface models (DYCORS) and Trust Region Bayesian Optimization (TuRBO), and one popular non‐surrogate method particle swarm (PSO). The result indicates that: (a) DYCORS is a promising method (significantly faster than TuRBO and PSO) for identifying the optimal LID design to minimize the flood damage cost and LID LCC; (b) Optimized LID design could reduce damage cost by as much as $12.14 million for the urban catchment after eliminating its own LCC compared with no LID implementation; (c) LID is effective in reducing the imperviousness of lands in urban areas.
Article
Environmental policies are often chosen according to physical characteristics that disregard the complex interactions between decision-makers, society, and nature. Environmental policy resistance has been identified as stemming from such complexities, yet we lack an understanding of how social and physical factors interrelate to inform policy design. The identification of synergies and trade-offs among various management strategies is necessary to generate optimal results from limited institutional resources. Participatory modeling has been used within the environmental community to aid decision-making by bringing together diverse stakeholders and defining their shared understanding of complex systems, which are commonly depicted by causal feedbacks. While such approaches have increased awareness of system complexity, causal diagrams often result in numerous feedback loops that are difficult to disentangle without further, data-intensive modeling. When investigating the complexities of human decision-making, we often lack robust empirical datasets to quantify human behavior and environmental feedbacks. Fuzzy logic may be used to convert qualitative relationships into semi-quantitative representations for numerical simulation. However, sole reliance upon computer-simulated outputs may obscure our understanding of the underlying system dynamics. Therefore, the aim of this study is to present and demonstrate a mixed-methods approach for better understanding: 1) how the system will respond to unique management strategies, in terms of policy synergies and conflicts, and 2) why the system behaves as such, according to causal feedbacks embedded within the system dynamics. This framework is demonstrated through a case study of nature-based solutions and policymaking in Houston, Texas, USA.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The proposed study will be the fourth in an ongoing program to investigate unresolved issues pertaining to stormwater adaptation. The overarching purpose of this program is to promote stakeholder-driven adaptation of vulnerable stormwater management systems and related water resources, by demonstrating, implementing, and disseminating a quantified, local-scale, and actionable protocol for maintaining historical risk levels in communities facing significant impacts from climate change. The proposed project will utilize an interdisciplinary team of investigators and stakeholders, to transfer coupled-climate model projections to the sub-watershed scale, in a form understandable to planners, resource managers and decision-makers. On a planning scale, the study will Model capacities required for the existing infrastructure to convey peak flows from projected mid-21st century climate-changed precipitation and population growth; Model water quality impacts from projected mid-21st century climate-changed precipitation and population growth; Manage uncertainty in coupled-climate model output and associated downscaling; Provide a risk-based, prioritized schedule for adaptation of subcatchments and the stormwater management system; Estimate the cost of adapting the infrastructure to required capacities; Assess the potential for BMPs and Low Impact Development methods to provide more economical management of peak flows than drainage system upsizing. Through stakeholder participation, and community education and outreach efforts, the project will provide a forum and participatory decision-making process to empower communities to implement the adaptation plan.
Article
Full-text available
Field monitoring of a stormwater treatment train has been underway between November 2013 and May 2015 at a townhouse development located at Ormiston, southeast Queensland. The research was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of a 200 micron mesh pit basket in a 900 square format and an 850 mm high media filtration cartridge system for removing total suspended solids and nutrients from stormwater runoff. The monitoring protocol was developed with Queensland University of Technology (QUT), reflecting the Auckland Regional Council Proprietary Device Evaluation Protocol (PDEP) and United States Urban Stormwater BMP Performance Monitoring Manual with some minor improvements reflecting local conditions. During the 18 month period, more than 30 rain events have occurred, of which nine comply with the protocol. The Efficiency Ratio (ER) observed for the treatment devices are 32% total suspended solids (TSS), 37% for total phosphorus (TP) and 38% total nitrogen (TN) for the pit basket, and an Efficiency Ratio of 87% TSS, 55% TP and 42% TN for the cartridge filter. The performance results on nine events have been observed to be significantly different statistically (p < 0.05) for the filters but not the pit baskets. The research has also identified the significant influence of analytical variability on performance results, specifically when influent concentrations are near the limits of detection.
Book
Heavily urbanised areas often face severe flooding incidences due to increased urbanisation and lack of permeable surfaces. A range of stormwater management practices are used in urban areas depending on several factors such as the presence or lack of open and green spaces, the geomorphology of the area, and the perceptions of professionals and the public as to what forms the most appropriate stormwater management practice for the area under consideration. This book provides an assessment of the social dimension of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS), which as a component of sustainable construction, is gaining ground within new planning concepts and are likely to form part of widely used public open spaces, and river management options, thus river restoration techniques in contrast to traditional river culverting approaches. The outcomes of this work are of use to policy makers, water companies, local authorities, environment agencies, planners, developers, consultants active in urban development, and researchers in applying wider-accepted practices for the assessment of perceptions in support of engaging into publically acceptable sustainable stormwater practices.
Article
The climate of the Great Plains is extreme and variable. A wide range of weather conditions can occur within the period of a day, from one day to the next, from season to season, and from year to year. There are two key reasons for this situation: (1) the greatest portion of the Plains is remote from any major body of water and (2) air masses of differing characteristics alternate frequently in their dominance of the region.
Article
The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), being implemented across Europe, signaling a change of thinking in the way water issues are addressed, commits member states to achieve good ecological status of all water bodies by the year 2015. Stormwater treatment devices are typically maintained on an infrequent basis, thus they must be able to retain and store pollutants through several rainy seasons for later removal during maintenance visits. With Europe aimed to enact stormwater treatment regulations reflecting requirements of the WFD, some US manufacturers of poorly designed hydrodynamic stormwater treatment devices are also aimed to seek opportunities in European markets. A recent study by the Centre for Environmental Technology (LCET) at Liverpool's John Moore University has concluded that the rate of washout varied greatly depending on type of chamber design.
Article
Bioretention devices are often recognized as stormwater control measures (SCMs) that satisfy green infrastructure or low-impact development (LID) objectives. The hydraulic characteristics of filter media underpin effective bioretention performance. Successful design criteria compiled from international design guidelines were used to create a range of engineered media subjected to two compaction methods and various configurations of media compositions and ponding depth. Experimental treatments of particle size distribution (PSD), organic content and composition, and aggregate content and source were combined to quantify their effects on media saturated hydraulic conductivity Ks and water holding capacity. The PSD alone was not an effective indicator of potential Ks; a target Ks of 12.5–150 mm/h (corresponding to 2–24 h drawdown from 300-mm ponding depth) was infeasible using PSD recommendations with locally available materials. Bulk density of media with only 30% sand and >30% v/v organic content was significantly influenced by moisture content under a standard compaction effort. This would impact Ks of these media if installed without specific instructions. However, the bulk density of sand-dominant (84–90% v/v) media was largely unaffected by moisture content or method of compaction. This suggests these sand-based media would have greater resilience and consistency of Ks in practice. Adding 10% v/v fine compost increased the water holding capacity of a fine, poorly graded, nonporous marine sand mixture; however compost held a significant proportion of moisture unavailable for plant growth (held at ≥1,500 kPa tension). Pumice sand had >2.5× plant available water (10–1,500 kPa) than the marine sand that was largely unaffected by compost addition. Increased plant available water enhances resilience of plants in SCMs to drought stress, and contributes to runoff retention in the root zone. A layered media system may provide the best outcomes for stormwater control and aesthetic appearance, while considering required media depth. While laboratory specifications may be helpful for screening potential candidate filter media, design, or performance factors considered in isolation limit the potential interpretation for field performance.