Science Inventory

Adapting urban best management practices for resilience to long-term environmental changes

Citation:

Job, S., M. Harris, S. Julius, J. Butcher, AND J. Kennedy. Adapting urban best management practices for resilience to long-term environmental changes. WATER ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH. Water Environment Federation, Alexandria, VA, 92(12):2178-2192, (2020). https://doi.org/10.1002/wer.1302

Impact/Purpose:

BMPs designed to control stormwater largely rely on experience with historic climate, which may not be a reliable guide to the future because of projected changes in precipitation and temperature. BMP performance will be affected, but the degree to which their designs need to be adjusted is not well understood. This paper examines the effect of projected future changes in precipitation and temperature on BMP performance at five sites (and development types) across the country using continuous simulation modeling. Results demonstrate that anticipated climate change could negatively affect BMP performance for both gray and green stormwater management approaches. If stormwater designs are adapted in the future, the most cost resilient approaches may be to use both gray and green BMPs. If the magnitude of extreme weather events increases dramatically, then gray practices that provide detention storage may have better cost resiliency. Results are useful to state and local experts on stormwater management and planning, as well as to EPA program and Regional Offices.

Description:

Stormwater best management practices (BMPs) help mitigate the adverse effects of urban development on stream hydrology and water quality, and are widely specified in development requirements and watershed management plans. However, design of stormwater BMPs largely relies on experience with historic climate, which may not be a reliable guide to the future. To inform BMP design that is robust to future conditions, it is important to examine how potential changes in precipitation, temperature, and potential evapotranspiration will affect the performance of BMPs. We use continuous simulation modeling to examine BMP performance under current and potential future climatic conditions and determine the changes needed in site configuration to address future impacts. We perform modeling for five development types in five different regions of the United States and explore both conventional (“gray”) and green infrastructure (GI) stormwater management approaches. If stormwater designs are adapted to address potential future climate conditions, this study suggests that the most cost‐effective approaches may use both gray and green BMPs. If the magnitude of extreme weather events increases dramatically, then gray practices that provide detention storage may have better cost‐effectiveness. Incorporating risk of future climate impacts into stormwater design may help communities become more resilient.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT ( JOURNAL/ PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 12/01/2020
Record Last Revised: 03/12/2021
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 351027