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From Rain Tanks to Catchments: Use of Low-Impact Development To Address Hydrologic Symptoms of the Urban Stream Syndrome.

  • Author(s): Askarizadeh, Asal
  • Rippy, Megan A
  • Fletcher, Tim D
  • Feldman, David L
  • Peng, Jian
  • Bowler, Peter
  • Mehring, Andrew S
  • Winfrey, Brandon K
  • Vrugt, Jasper A
  • AghaKouchak, Amir
  • Jiang, Sunny C
  • Sanders, Brett F
  • Levin, Lisa A
  • Taylor, Scott
  • Grant, Stanley B
  • et al.
Abstract

Catchment urbanization perturbs the water and sediment budgets of streams, degrades stream health and function, and causes a constellation of flow, water quality, and ecological symptoms collectively known as the urban stream syndrome. Low-impact development (LID) technologies address the hydrologic symptoms of the urban stream syndrome by mimicking natural flow paths and restoring a natural water balance. Over annual time scales, the volumes of stormwater that should be infiltrated and harvested can be estimated from a catchment-scale water-balance given local climate conditions and preurban land cover. For all but the wettest regions of the world, a much larger volume of stormwater runoff should be harvested than infiltrated to maintain stream hydrology in a preurban state. Efforts to prevent or reverse hydrologic symptoms associated with the urban stream syndrome will therefore require: (1) selecting the right mix of LID technologies that provide regionally tailored ratios of stormwater harvesting and infiltration; (2) integrating these LID technologies into next-generation drainage systems; (3) maximizing potential cobenefits including water supply augmentation, flood protection, improved water quality, and urban amenities; and (4) long-term hydrologic monitoring to evaluate the efficacy of LID interventions.

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