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Eco-Efficiency Analysis of Green Infrastructure Based Watershed Management: A Case Study of Raionwater Harvesting in the Albemarle-Pimlico Basins
Ghimire, S. AND JohnM Johnston. Eco-Efficiency Analysis of Green Infrastructure Based Watershed Management: A Case Study of Raionwater Harvesting in the Albemarle-Pimlico Basins. Presented at EcoSummit 2012, Columbus, OH, September 30 - October 05, 2012.
Rising world population, rapid urbanization, and land development exacerbate the global challenge of protecting watersheds and their sustainability. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has achieved significant progress in protecting and remediating national watersheds, yet much work has to be done towards environmental sustainability. According to a recent survey by EPA, 42% of the wadeable stream length in the US is biologically poor. The increased anthropogenic activities not only have contributed to global climate change consequences, such as abnormal drought and heavy participation, but also created water supply scarcity. According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, summer drought in the Southern U.S. has increased by 14% in the past four decades. Interbasin water transfer and new reservoir construction to cope with water scarcity are not likely to provide sustainable solutions. Green-Infrastructure (GI) based wet weather management would be a key to protecting watersheds from eminent challenges. In the context of watershed health, GI may be envisioned as the cost-effective, socially alluring, and environmentally friendly technique for watershed sustainability. Such GIs may include but are not limited to rainwater harvesting, green roofs, planter boxes, rain gardens, permeable pavements, and vegetated swales. Here, we present a methodology to conduct Eco-Efficiency (EE) analysis of rainwater harvesting (RWH) system as an example of GI. The EE analysis method includes Life Cycle Cost Assessment (LCCA), environmental burdens assessment, and human and ecosystem health assessment from cradle to grave. Further, the EE of freshwater impounding reservoirs is also presented to contrast the aggregate environmental and economic benefits of RWH in Southeast US. The methodology is demonstrated in a scientifically renowned watershed, Albemarle-Pamlico Watershed (APW), encompassing VA and NC, USA to help informed decision-making in watershed and environm
Presentation for EcoSummit 2012, Columbus, OH, 09/30 - 10/03.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB
ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH DIVISION