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Kaid Benfield’s Blog

Urban stormwater runoff 101, by my NRDC colleagues

Kaid Benfield

Posted August 20, 2010

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NRDC's excellent communications staff has recently begun working more closely with our program staff on some nicely produced short informational videos.  I've covered issues of stormwater runoff frequently here with narrative and still photos - compact development dramatically reduces runoff per capita but, unless carefully managed, can increase it in local hotspots - but not much with video.  I wasn't involved in this production, but several of my colleagues were.  Enjoy:


Kaid Benfield writes (almost) daily about community, development, and the environment.  For more posts, see his blog's home page


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Ken FirestoneAug 20 2010 10:19 AM

The video, while very good, doesn't get at one of the big underlying causes of runoff, our transportation system. Each and every automobile requires a heck of a lot of impervious surface. Some estimate that each car requires as many as 10 parking spaces. And then there are roads. Multiply this by the number of cars, and that is a lot of runoff causing surface. A more balanced transportation system, less dependent on cars will go a long way to reduce runoff.

Betsy FranzAug 20 2010 11:12 AM

I just did a blog post on this topic. I think you'll like it.

Kaid @ NRDCAug 24 2010 09:29 AM

Ken: excellent point. All that transportation infrastructure is also a key reason why compact, walkable communities are better per capita for limiting stormwater runoff, no matter what on-site measures are taken in sprawl. I hope those points are in the next generation of the video!

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