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In the face of climate change threats, constructing green infrastructure is crucial in today’s world.. In a world with global warming and pollution, it is important to seek out infrastructural solutions to that are clean and energy efficient to ensure sustainability.

As many cities all over the world have adopted paved road surfaces and urbanized infrastructure, poorly managed stormwater creates a number of challenges such as flooding, soil erosion and water pollution. These challenges need to be overcome for sustainability.

Benefits of Green Stormwater Management

By employing green stormwater management, a nature-centric approach is adopted to address issues related to stormwater. Some of the advantages of implementing effective stormwater management include:

  • Reduced flooding
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Increased water supply
  • Improved quality of life

Methods of Green Stormwater Management

In the following discussion, we will explore environmentally friendly methods for effectively managing stormwater.

1. Rain water harvesting

Harvesting rain water has a significant potential to supplement on a city’s non-potable water needs. Stored rain water can contribute at least 20% of the non-potable water for thousands of people. This approach of storm water management is also very practical since the the water can be collected in cisterns and barrels even at the household level.

stormwater management
Example of Rain water harvesting. Source: SuSanA Secretariat, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
stormwater management
Diagram of rain water harvesting system for building. Source: Adityamail, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Permeable pavements

Using permeable pavements, also known as a porous pavement, helps to manage rain water by letting it to seep through into filtration soil layers that remove pollutants before the water joins the ground water. Permeable pavements can be used for parking, drive ways and side walks. They also have low maintenance cost in the long term compared to the traditional pavements.

stormwater management
Example of permeable paving. Source: Immanuel Giel , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
stormwater management
Demonstration of permeable pavement. Source: JJ Harrison , CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Green roofs

Green roofs can help to reduce the the volume and speed of runoff. Green roofs can be created by adding vegetation to a roof. They typically consist of multiple layers such as a planting media, waterproofing and drainage layer. Green roofs function by temporary storing stormwater and slowing the excess water before to it released into the drainage system. In addition, green roofs allow enhance the cooling of a building and reduce cooling expenses.

stormwater management
Source: Aloha Jon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
stormwater management
Source: USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

4. Rain garden

Rain gardens are usually strategically situated at lower elevations than the surrounding terrain, enabling them to gather stormwater and facilitate its evapotranspiration while encouraging infiltration into the ground. These specialized gardens typically capture runoff originating from streets, walkways, and rooftops.

stormwater management
Example of rain garden. Source: USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
stormwater management
Another example of rain garden. Source: USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

5. Artificial wetlands

Artificial wetlands emulate the characteristics of natural wetlands, serving as effective mechanisms for collecting stormwater and facilitating its drainage into the soil. Any surplus water within the artificial wetland is directed to drain through the sewer system. Beyond their stormwater management functionality, these wetlands contribute aesthetic enhancements to the environment and provide a habitat for wildlife.

stormwater management
Source: SuSanA Secretariat, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
stormwater management
Source: Nelsnelson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

5. Urban tree canopy

Integrating trees into infrastructure can also help with stormwater management. Trees can intercept rainwater and also their roots help to make holes in the soil which improves its ability to absorb rain water. In addition, trees also help to clean and cool the air.

stormwater management
Source: Eric Fischer, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
stormwater management
Source: Abu Shawka, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Conclusion


In conclusion, implementing eco-friendly stormwater management practices, such as green roofs, rain gardens, and artificial wetlands, is crucial for sustainable urban development. These approaches not only address stormwater challenges but also provide aesthetic enhancements, support wildlife habitats, and promote resource efficiency. Embracing these eco-friendly strategies is a responsible commitment to safeguarding our environment and ensuring the resilience of our communities in the face of urbanization.

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