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Dr. Hans Schreier on Climate Variability & Innovative Urban Stormwater Management Solutions
Alberta Environment and Parks as part of the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program hosted Dr. Hans Schreier, Professor of Emeritus, UBC in Calgary on March 17, 2016. Dr. Schreier's presentation was recorded by ALIDP for your viewing - version 1 quicktime (.mov) or version 2 iMovie (.mv4). Note: the links provide a 15-minute preview of the presentation. To see the entire presentation it is necessary to download the presentation.
Flood Loss Avoidance Benefits of Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Managment
The modeling study, prepared for the US EPA, estimates the flood loss avoidance benefits from application of small storm retention practices for new development and redevelopment nationwide. Twenty HUC8 watersheds were modeled in areas where significant growth is expected between 2020 and 2040, using the FEMA Hazus model and national-scale datasets. The area of the watersheds ranges between 500 and 3,000 square miles. The study was conducted in consultation with other federal agencies including the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The approach was vetted by a panel of experts from government, academia, and industry. The results show that, over time, the use of green stormwater infrastructure can save hundreds of millions of dollars in flood losses, while just applying the practices to new development and redevelopment only. If retrofitting were to occur, the avoided losses would be even more significant.
A connection between lack of green space and crime
Los Angeles has been historically park-poor, according to Billi Gordon. 41% of low income households do not have immediate access to parks in Los Angeles compared to 2% in New York City. Los Angeles ranks 51st in a US park scoring system. Densification has reduced Los Angeles's tree canopy to 21% versus the US national average of 27%. In a Los Angeles Times op. ed., Billi Gordon explores the impact a lack of green space has on health, crime and even domestic violence due to higher stress levels. A dense city without adequate green spaces is just too complex for the human brain.
Water Canada: Planning for Uncertainties in Stormwater Management
The article highlights the role low impact development techniques have in building resilience and reducing risk when it comes to extreme weather events including floods and drought. Early adopters of low impact development practices are seeing positive results from decentralized methods of "managing water where it falls". Municipalities including Calgary have adopted stormwater or drainage fees as a mechanism to fund stormwater infrastructure and resiliency initiatives. However barriers to LID implementation still exist when moving away from the status quo.
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