AWARE Colorado Update • December 2007
AWARE Colorado continues to visit communities around the state to inform local officials and others about tools and strategies to protect water quality. To learn more about the AWARE Colorado program or schedule a presentation click here.
Here are some recent articles, resources and an upcoming event.
AWARE Colorado addresses statewide watershed conference
AWARE Colorado partnered with four other statewide groups to cosponsor the second annual Sustaining Colorado's Watersheds Conference held in October at Breckenridge. At the event, which drew over 250 participants, AWARE Colorado program director Cynthia Peterson spoke at a session that included several presenters who linked land use decisions and water quality. Foremost among innovative strategies, noted Peterson, is the use of fewer impervious surfaces, such as asphalt parking lots. In conclusion, she encouraged the audience to work collaboratively within their communities and watershed groups.
New study to help municipalities decide best planning tools to protect waterways from polluted runoff
A unique new study to protect urban waterways from pollution caused by stormwater runoff will be undertaken by Colorado State University. More...
Using alleys to fight heat, water runoff
Chicago’s Green Alley Program, which uses permeable asphalt and concrete, earned the City of Chicago a 2007 Chicago Innovation Award. The alleys reduce runoff and are also engineered to reflect light, consequently minimizing the heat island effect of traditional road coverings.
Economics of Conservation Subdivisions
This article analyzes the economics of conservation subdivisions, which consume less land, are less harmful to the environment and preserve more open space than conventional subdivisions. The article analyzes price premiums, improvement costs and time on the market. The research shows that conservation subdivision lots carry a price premium, are less costly to build and don’t take as long to sell.
Seattle Projects Seek to Mimic Mother Nature
This article highlights low-impact development projects in Seattle, Wash. The Seattle Public Utilities’ natural drainage systems program has used a variety of methods in diverse applications to slow, hold and treat stormwater runoff before it enters local waterways.
Logon www.epa.gov/owow/info/NewsNotes/issue82/82issue.pdf. (Page 9)
An Evaluation of the Reduced Environmental Impact From High-Density Development
The city of Grand Rapids, Mich., evaluated the impacts to water resources from various types of high-density development. The intent was to establish standards for granting waivers or reductions in the city’s stormwater regulations for high-density developments. The article concludes that the granting of a waiver from certain stormwater management requirements for high-density developments makes good sense from an overall watershed perspective.
This article outlines the benefits of converting unused lawn to natural vegetation in parks and recreation areas. It discusses how the conversion can increase recreational potential and solve many management problems, including water quality impacts.
Not All Green Space is Created Equal
This article points out that the traditional landscape in urban and suburban areas, often turf grass, can be a poor substitute for the benefits, hydrologic and otherwise, of native landscapes. Two case studies are provided.
Watershed and Wetland Protection Information Kit for County Officials
Produced by the Center for Watershed Protection and the National Association of Counties, this Web site provides a collection of resources to assist county and local officials with efforts to protect and restore water resources in their communities.
Jordan Cove Urban Watershed Section 319 National Monitoring Program Project
This research project is located in Waterford, Conn., along the coast of Long Island Sound. The study began in 1995 and was designed to determine water quantity and quality benefits of using pollution prevention best management practices (BMPs) in a residential subdivision. After 10 years of monitoring, research showed that stormwater runoff from the low-impact subdivision was much less than from the traditional subdivision during construction. And after construction, stormwater runoff was unchanged from predevelopment levels.
Pervious Pavement Projects: A New Approach to Stormwater Management
This Web site displays two case studies from the city of Portland, Ore., which highlight the use of pervious pavement.
Urban Watershed Forestry Manual
This three-part manual series, produced by the Center for Watershed Protection, discusses the use of trees to protect and restore urban watersheds. All three parts are available for download.
Many presentations made during the Sustaining Colorado’s Watersheds conference in October 2007 are available online. PowerPoint presentations are available in PDF format, while audio recordings are posted as podcasts.
Online photo albums document innovative stormwater practices
This Web site provides photos, most with explanatory captions, of best management practices (BMPs) from 11 communities in various parts of the country. They include BMPs for streets and driveways, residences and commercial development as well as subdivisions.
• UPCOMING EVENT
17th Annual Land Use Conference: Sustaining the Next 100 Million
March 6-7, 2008
This conference, hosted by the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, provides an arena for discussion and debate of critical regulatory, environmental and land development issues. Speakers will focus on current and controversial topics that affect the Rocky Mountain region.
For more information,logon www.law.du.edu/rmlui/index.htm.
• FOR MORE INFORMATION
To learn more about ways communities can prevent the impacts of land use on water quality, visit the AWARE Colorado Web site at www.awarecolorado.org.
AWARE Colorado is an educational program of the League of Women Voters of Colorado Education Fund. It is funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.