Publication Date

2018-12-21

Document Type

Capstone

Study Type

ENV 312

Department

Environmental Science and Policy

Advisors

Alex Barron and Dano Weisbord

Keywords

Stormwater, Grey/green infrastructure, precipitation, Climate change, GSI map

Abstract

The projected increase in precipitation due to climate change in the Northeast of the United States will have a negative effect on stormwater infrastructure. In the New England area, under the high emission scenario, there is expected to be a 14 percent increase in annual precipitation by the end of the century. Traditionally, gray infrastructure, such as drains and culverts, has been used to collect stormwater, move it through a series of piping, then ultimately discharged into a body of water. An alternate approach is using green infrastructure, which micks the natural water cycle by capturing stormwater where it falls and treating it at its source. Smith College’s current stormwater management system is heavily reliant on gray infrastructure. However, this system will be inadequate in the future because the climate is changing. For this project, we assessed Smith College’s current stormwater management, created a series of maps that aids in our assessment, performed a stormwater runoff case study on the Quadrangle of Smith campus using EPA Stormwater Calculator, and developed recommendations for future studies to further improve the assessment of stormwater management on campus.

One of our findings is that the current stormwater management infrastructure on campus is becoming less adequate since there are major flooding sites on campus. We also found that there will be 0.6 million gallons of extra runoff under the projected climate in the Quadrangle alone. As the New England’s climate changes, our current stormwater infrastructure will continue to face strain and will be vulnerable. As seen from our case study, implementation of green infrastructure will reduce the amount of runoff, thus help make Smith College campus more resilient to the effects of climate change.

Rights

©2018 Haruka Yoshida.

Comments

This project report summarizes the semester-long efforts of group members to identify a problem in sustainability; gather background information; collect data through surveys, interviews, or experiments; analyze results, and report findings to the public in an oral presentation. Each member of the group was required to submit a separate written report. This student’s report was selected by the course’s professor to represent the project.

Project group members:

Jasmine Pacheco-Ramos

Haruka Yoshida

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