Thursday, February 09, 2012
I would like to see rainwater harvesting (RWH) gain the popularity in the U.S. that is has in Europe, Australia and the Caribbean. RWH is a great way to reduce the use of potable water for flushing and irrigation while at the same time reducing stormwater runoff.
Your observation that CSO and policy changes to increase capacity are beyond the scope of the "stormwater manager" is totally fallacious. Combined Sewer Systems have more than enough capacity for dry weather sanitary flow in all but a few extreme cases. The problem is the storm water that gets in to the system whether intentionally as designed in a CSO system or unintentionally through I&I. Either way the stormwater is what causes the overflow. Typically new development stnadards will require technology and desing specs that will result in less I&I and therefore overflow, so if Cities with CSO have development it is a benefit to their "greeness" not a detriment since they will then have the economic revenue to address their aging infrastructure problems.
Your point about controlling development is on target and linking all these things together is what everyone markets as sustainable planning. For that we have to think on an even broader scale and control development in arid areas and encourage development where water resources are available. Bringing development back to shrinking CSO communities will bring revenue back to address stormwater and overflow issues. The shrinking eastern cities have more potential to create "greener" communities than the arid west, inherently because of water and air conditioning needs let alone greater commute distances and less public transportation.
Your point about it being "Too easy" to be green is obviously correct as you have fallen into an oversimplified solution in your application of a CSO example.
Janice hit the nail on the head with her comments on locavorism - as long as we have the "disposable income" to drive to work, fly on vacations, and pay a little more for local produce people will do those "little things" to feel good about driving a greener car and eating only local foods.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Green roofs are an excellent solution to stormwater run-off in cities. Have a look at www.oikosteges.gr or www.vveco.eu (for English)
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