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Green infrastructure solutions to water management

Green infrastructure is a method of stormwater management to divert and reduce runoff, often by replacing impervious surfaces with natural soils and vegetation. Rainwater harvesting, permeable pavements, green roofs, urban tree canopies, rain gardens and bioswales and wetland restoration divert and filter stormwater locally, helping to prevent flooding and pollution.

Increases in the frequency and intensity of precipitation will only increase the risks and costs associated with stormwater management. Across the continental United States, regions are experiencing a higher incidence of extreme precipitation and communities are struggling to respond and prepare.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the National Stormwater Calculator to help people plan development by estimating runoff reduction for various scenarios. Users can determine how to meet a desired stormwater retention target with and without the use of green infrastructure.

 

Additional Resources

Green Infrastructure, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification Program, U.S. Green Building Council

Natural Infrastructure, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

International Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) Database