Special Issue "Cross-Sector Green Infrastructure for Improving Urban Storm Water Quality"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Water Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021) | Viewed by 9140

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. John McCray
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401, USA
Interests: green infrastructure, stormwater, hyporheic zone, human-impacted watersheds, water quality engineering
Dr. Skuyler Herzog
E-Mail
Guest Editor
School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 47401, USA
Interests: green infrastructure, stormwater, hyporheic zone, stream restoration, human-impacted watersheds

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are seeking papers on the topic of “Cross-Sector Green Infrastructure for Improving Urban Storm Water Quality”. In the future, water leaving urban areas should be cleaner than water entering those cities. Green infrastructure can play a large role in achieving that vision, but improvements are needed in both the efficiency of individual green infrastructure techniques and in the coordination of green infrastructure across sites and sectors. We seek papers reporting green infrastructure as a storm water quality management technique, including: laboratory and field effectiveness of green infrastructure, innovative engineering designs to increase functional efficiency, urban stream restoration for water quality enhancement, modelling to integrate green infrastructure on larger scales, decision support tools for implementation in urban areas, overcoming policy and legal barriers for implementation, life-cycle analyses, and more.

Preference will be given to multidisciplinary papers that:

  • advance mechanistic understanding of green infrastructure performance for understudied and diverse water quality issues (e.g., bacteria, nutrients, metals, greenhouse gases, trace organics, recreational use standards (e.g., swimmable, fishable waterways), concentration- and load-based compliance);
  • report the impact of green infrastructure planning or decision support tools on performance improvement;
  • use green infrastructure to span traditional management divides between storm water and other sectors (e.g., stream restoration, polishing of wastewater or recycled water, urban agriculture).

Prof. Dr. John McCray
Dr. Skuyler Herzog
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • stormwater management
  • stormwater control measures
  • green infrastructure
  • watershed/basin planning
  • urban hydrology
  • streamflow augmentation

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Urban Drool Water Quality in Denver, Colorado: Pollutant Occurrences and Sources in Dry-Weather Flows
Water 2021, 13(23), 3436; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13233436 - 04 Dec 2021
Viewed by 711
Abstract
Dry-weather flows in urban channels and streams, often termed “urban drool”, represent an important source of urban surface water impairment, particularly in semi-arid environments. Urban drool is a combination of year-round flows in urban channels, natural streams, and storm-sewer systems (runoff from irrigation [...] Read more.
Dry-weather flows in urban channels and streams, often termed “urban drool”, represent an important source of urban surface water impairment, particularly in semi-arid environments. Urban drool is a combination of year-round flows in urban channels, natural streams, and storm-sewer systems (runoff from irrigation return flow, car washes, street cleaning, leakage of groundwater or wastewater into streams or storm sewers, etc.). The purpose of this study was to better understand the extent and sources of urban drool pollution in Denver, Colorado by identifying relationships between urban catchment characteristics and pollutants. Water-quality samples were taken throughout Denver at urban drainage points that were representative of a variety of urban characteristics. Samples were analyzed for total suspended solids (TSS), coliforms, Escherichia Coli (E. coli), nutrients (nitrate, phosphorus, and potassium), dissolved and total organic carbon, and dissolved and total recoverable metals. Results from this study were as follows: (1) most contaminants (nitrate, phosphorus, arsenic, iron, manganese, nickel, selenium, and zinc) were concluded to be primarily loaded from shallow groundwater; (2) anthropogenic effects likely exacerbated groundwater pollutant concentrations and contributions to surface water; (3) nitrate, nickel, and manganese may be partially contributed by industrial inputs; (4) medical marijuana cultivation sites were identified as a potential source of nutrient and zinc pollution; (5) E. coli was a ubiquitous contaminant in all urban waterways; (6) erosion of contaminated urban soils, presumably from construction, was found to significantly increase concentrations of TSS, total phosphorus, and total metals. Increasing urbanization and predicted drier climates suggest that dry-weather flows will become more important to manage; the results from this study provide insight on dry-weather water quality management for the City and County of Denver. Full article
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Article
Assessing the Use of Dual-Drainage Modeling to Determine the Effects of Green Stormwater Infrastructure on Roadway Flooding and Traffic Performance
Water 2021, 13(11), 1563; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111563 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1545
Abstract
Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is increasingly used to reduce stormwater input to the subsurface stormwater network. This work investigated how GSI interacts with surface runoff and stormwater structures to affect the spatial extent and distribution of roadway flooding and subsequent effects on the [...] Read more.
Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is increasingly used to reduce stormwater input to the subsurface stormwater network. This work investigated how GSI interacts with surface runoff and stormwater structures to affect the spatial extent and distribution of roadway flooding and subsequent effects on the performance of the traffic system using a dual-drainage model. The model simulated roadway flooding using PCSWMM (Personal Computer Stormwater Management Model) in Harvard Gulch, Denver, Colorado, and was then used in a microscopic traffic simulation using the Simulation of Urban Mobility Model (SUMO). We examined the effect of converting between 1% and 5% of directly connected impervious area (DCIA) to bioretention GSI on roadway flooding. The results showed that even for 1% of DCIA converted to GSI, the extent and mean depth of roadway flooding was reduced. Increasing GSI conversion further reduced roadway flooding depth and extent, although with diminishing returns per additional percentage of DCIA converted to GSI. Reduced roadway flooding led to increased average vehicle speeds and decreased percentage of roads impacted by flooding and total travel time. We found diminishing returns in the roadway flooding reduction per additional percentage of DCIA converted to GSI. Future work will be conducted to reduce the main limitations of insufficient data for model validation. Detailed dual-drainage modeling has the potential to better predict what GSI strategies will mitigate roadway flooding. Full article
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Article
Quantifying the Effects of Residential Infill Redevelopment on Urban Stormwater Quality in Denver, Colorado
Water 2021, 13(7), 988; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070988 - 03 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1060
Abstract
Stormwater quality in three urban watersheds in Denver that have been undergoing rapid infill redevelopment for about a decade was evaluated. Sampling was conducted over 18 months, considering 15 storms. Results: (1) The first-flush effect was observed for nutrients and total suspended solids [...] Read more.
Stormwater quality in three urban watersheds in Denver that have been undergoing rapid infill redevelopment for about a decade was evaluated. Sampling was conducted over 18 months, considering 15 storms. Results: (1) The first-flush effect was observed for nutrients and total suspended solids (TSS) but not for total dissolved solids (TDS), conductivity, pH, and fecal indicator bacteria; (2) though no significant differences on event mean concentration (EMC) values were found among the three basins, local-scale EMCs were higher than traditional city-wide standards, particularly some metals and nutrients, most likely because of the significantly higher imperviousness of the studied urban basins compared to city averages; (3) peak rainfall intensity and total rainfall depth showed significant but weak correlations with some nutrients and metals, and TDS; (4) antecedent dry period were not correlated with water quality, except for phosphorus and lead; (5) contrary to what was expected, total coliforms and Escherichia coli were not correlated with TSS; and (6) no significant correlations between water quality and land-use or zoning categories were found. It was concluded that locally focused stormwater monitoring can aid data-driven decision-making by city planners where redevelopment is occurring at local “neighborhood scales”, particularly for the implementation and management related to green infrastructure and water-quality regulations. Full article
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Article
A Site-Scale Tool for Performance-Based Design of Stormwater Best Management Practices
Water 2021, 13(6), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060844 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1274
Abstract
The objective of this research is to develop a module for the design of best management practices based on percent pollutant removal. The module is a part of the site-scale integrated decision support tool (i-DSTss) that was developed for stormwater management. The current [...] Read more.
The objective of this research is to develop a module for the design of best management practices based on percent pollutant removal. The module is a part of the site-scale integrated decision support tool (i-DSTss) that was developed for stormwater management. The current i-DSTss tool allows for the design of best management practices based on flow reduction. The new water quality module extends the capability of the i-DSTss tool by adding new procedures for the design of best management practices based on treatment performance. The water quality module can be used to assess the treatment of colloid/total suspended solid and dissolved pollutants. We classify best management practices into storage-based (e.g., pond) and infiltration-based (e.g., bioretention and permeable pavement) practices for design purposes. Several of the more complex stormwater tools require expertise to build and operate. The i-DSTss and its component modules including the newly added water quality module are built on an accessible platform (Microsoft Excel VBA) and can be operated with a minimum skillset. Predictions from the water quality module were compared with observed data, and the goodness-of-fit was evaluated. For percent total suspended solid removal, both R2 and Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency values were greater than 0.7 and 0.6 for infiltration-based and storage-based best management practices, respectively, demonstrating a good fit for both types of best management practices. For percent total phosphorous and Escherichia. coli removal, R2 and Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency values demonstrated an acceptable fit. To enhance usability of the tool by a broad range of users, the tool is designed to be flexible allowing user interaction through a graphical user interface. Full article
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Article
Invertebrate and Microbial Response to Hyporheic Restoration of an Urban Stream
Water 2021, 13(4), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040481 - 12 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1202
Abstract
All cities face complex challenges managing urban stormwater while also protecting urban water bodies. Green stormwater infrastructure and process-based restoration offer alternative strategies that prioritize watershed connectivity. We report on a new urban floodplain restoration technique being tested in the City of Seattle, [...] Read more.
All cities face complex challenges managing urban stormwater while also protecting urban water bodies. Green stormwater infrastructure and process-based restoration offer alternative strategies that prioritize watershed connectivity. We report on a new urban floodplain restoration technique being tested in the City of Seattle, USA: an engineered hyporheic zone. The hyporheic zone has long been an overlooked component in floodplain restoration. Yet this subsurface area offers enormous potential for stormwater amelioration and is a critical component of healthy streams. From 2014 to 2017, we measured hyporheic temperature, nutrients, and microbial and invertebrate communities at three paired stream reaches with and without hyporheic restoration. At two of the three pairs, water temperature was significantly lower at the restored reach, while dissolved organic carbon and microbial metabolism were higher. Hyporheic invertebrate density and taxa richness were significantly higher across all three restored reaches. These are some of the first quantified responses of hyporheic biological communities to restoration. Our results complement earlier reports of enhanced hydrologic and chemical functioning of the engineered hyporheic zone. Together, this research demonstrates that incorporation of hyporheic design elements in floodplain restoration can enhance temperature moderation, habitat diversity, contaminant filtration, and the biological health of urban streams. Full article
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Article
Predicting the Existence and Prevalence of the US Water Quality Trading Markets
Water 2021, 13(2), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020185 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1138
Abstract
Water quality trading (WQT) programs aim to efficiently reduce pollution through market-based incentives. However, WQT performance is uneven; while several programs have found frequent use, many experience operational barriers and low trading activity. What factors are associated with WQT existence, prevalence, and operational [...] Read more.
Water quality trading (WQT) programs aim to efficiently reduce pollution through market-based incentives. However, WQT performance is uneven; while several programs have found frequent use, many experience operational barriers and low trading activity. What factors are associated with WQT existence, prevalence, and operational stage? In this paper, we present and analyze the most complete database of WQT programs in the United States (147 programs/policies), detailing market designs, trading mechanisms, traded pollutants, and segmented geographies in 355 distinct markets. We use hurdle models (joint binary and count regressions) to evaluate markets in concert with demographic, political, and environmental covariates. We find that only one half of markets become operational, new market establishment has declined since 2013, and market existence and prevalence has nuanced relationships with local political ideology, urban infrastructure, waterway and waterbody extents, regulated environmental impacts, and historic waterway impairment. Our findings suggest opportunities for better projecting program need and targeting program funding. Full article
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Article
Modeling the Influence of Public Risk Perceptions on the Adoption of Green Stormwater Infrastructure: An Application of Bayesian Belief Networks Versus Logistic Regressions on a Statewide Survey of Households in Vermont
Water 2020, 12(10), 2793; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102793 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1191
Abstract
There is growing environmental psychology and behavior literature with mixed empirical evidence about the influence of public risk perceptions on the adoption of environmentally friendly “green behaviors”. Adoption of stormwater green infrastructure on residential properties, while costlier in the short term compared to [...] Read more.
There is growing environmental psychology and behavior literature with mixed empirical evidence about the influence of public risk perceptions on the adoption of environmentally friendly “green behaviors”. Adoption of stormwater green infrastructure on residential properties, while costlier in the short term compared to conventional greywater infrastructure, plays an important role in the reduction of nutrient loading from non-point sources into freshwater rivers and lakes. In this study, we use Bayesian Belief Networks (BBNs) to analyze a 2015 survey dataset (sample size = 472 respondents) about the adoption of green infrastructure (GSI) in Vermont’s residential areas, most of which are located in either the Lake Champlain Basin or Connecticut River Basin. Eight categories of GSI were investigated: roof diversion, permeable pavement, infiltration trenches, green roofs, rain gardens, constructed wetlands, tree boxes, and others. Using both unsupervised and supervised machine learning algorithms, we used Bayesian Belief Networks to quantify the influence of public risk perceptions on GSI adoption while accounting for a range of demographic and spatial variables. We also compare the effectiveness of the Bayesian Belief Network approach and logistic regression in predicting the pro-environmental behaviors (adoption of GSI). The results show that influencing factors for current adoption differ by the type of GSI. Increased perception of risk from stormwater issues is associated with the adoption of rain gardens and infiltration trenches. Runoff issues are more likely to be considered the governments’ (town, state, and federal agencies) responsibility, whereas lawn erosion is more likely to be considered the residents’ responsibility. When using the same set of variables to predict pro-environmental behaviors (adoption of GSI), the BBN approach produces more accurate predictions compared to logistic regression. The results provide insights for further research on how to encourage residents to take measures for mitigating stormwater issues and stormwater management. Full article
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