89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 9:15 AM
Climate change adaptation in New York State: extreme rainfall, storm water, and policy implications
Room 121A (Phoenix Convention Center)
Lee M. Tryhorn, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Extreme precipitation is a serious impact of climate change on human settlements due to the extensive damage it causes to a wide range of infrastructure, but more importantly because floods are a major cause of deaths and injuries. Further, uncontrolled stormwater runoff from urban areas degrades creeks and waterways, causing erosion and pollution. Climate change exacerbates the impacts of flooding, as storm drains, water supply and waste management systems require more system capacity and technological sophistication to avoid being overwhelmed in intense rainfall events.

This study aims to integrate scientific knowledge from a variety of disciplines with local experience to describe, contextually and in detail, the impact of extreme rainfall on the residents of New York State and current mitigation efforts to alleviate and reduce these impacts. Interactions between State and local government in New York are examined as they attempt to manage stormwater in compliance with Phase II of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Effectiveness of current stormwater management plans and obstacles to implementation are also investigated.

This research aims to advance the common interest of the residents of New York State through linking scientific insights about adaptation to policy and practice. It is hoped that this research will make concrete contributions to the development of adaptation and stormwater policy in New York, and more broadly, highlight institutional barriers to local climate change adaptation affecting municipalities everywhere.

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