Exploring Uncertainties in Stormwater Planning in the Era of Climate Change
Philadelphia AWRA is offering a joint presentation in partnership with CCRUN (Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast)
Extreme precipitation events are occurring more frequently in many parts of the United States, and the frequency of these events are expected to grow further as the climate warms. These extreme rainfall events have exposed critical gaps in planning when it comes to effective urban stormwater management in a changing climate. Climate scientists have been warning us that we should expect such changes, but there is a mismatch in the information and resources needed by stormwater utilities and engineers, and the information produced by climate scientists.
CCRUN in partnership with MARISA has been surveying the methods and tools being used to bridge this gap. In March, CCRUN and MARISA held a workshop with stormwater utilities in the Northeast and MidAtlantic to discuss best practices and emerging concepts in planning for extreme events and climate change in stormwater management and synthesize the state of the art in extreme precipitation forecasting for inclusion in stormwater planning.
To test out some of these concepts, Drexel University introduced a problem-based learning class for both Drexel students and practicing engineers enrolled for continuing education credits. Students worked with seven different stormwater utilities in Camden, NJ; Baltimore, MD; Frederick, MD; Takoma Park, MD; Washington DC; Charles County, VA; and Richmond, VA to develop future “design storms” that reflect the potential impacts of climate change on stormwater planning. A particular challenge for the students was to synthesize design storms that represent the full range of uncertainty associated with global climate model output, downscaling approaches, seasonal impacts, and other factors. The students will present their work and a case study, followed by a round table discussion with experts in this field.
Speaker: Dr. Franco Montalto
Professor @Drexel University
Dr. Montalto is a civil engineer interested in the development of ecologically, economically, and socially sensible solutions to urban environmental problems, with a focus on sustainable water resources engineering. His ~20 years of experience have included research and design of a variety of nature-based solutions involving ecological restoration of degraded landscapes, the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater and stormwater treatment, as well as work with “green infrastructure” and “low impact development” technologies as a means of managing urban runoff, while promoting urban sustainability and resilience.