48 Adapting to climate change: stormwater mitigation under enhanced rainfall scenarios

Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Salon B (Asheville Renaissance)
Joanne Logan, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN; and T. G. Prather, G. Bennett, and S. Benge

Current precipitation trends indicate an increase in autumn precipitation in much of the Southeast, including East Tennessee, where the University of Tennessee (UTK) is located. Heavy downpours have increased in parts of the region, while the percentage of the region experiencing moderate to severe drought has increased over the last three decades. As part of UTK's President's Climate Commitment, as well as required by the Chancellor, the Campus Committee for the Environment plans and submits for approval an environmental action plan every 5 years. Stormwater runoff will be included for the first time in the plan submitted in 2011. As part of stormwater planning, a detailed map of surface cover was developed for campus, including vegetation type and stormwater features such as drains, drain lines, retention and detention areas, cisterns, and outlets to the nearby Second and Third Creeks. GIS and nearby hourly rainfall records helped estimate total runoff from campus under a range in severity of rainfall events. We also identified stormwater "hot spots" that need to be treated with raingardens or other mitigation options. In addition, future irrigation requirements of campus landscaping were estimated based on a range of warming scenarios. Ultimately, we would like to propose a more comprehensive land management approach in the face of a changing climate.
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