Julia Poska | November 19, 2018
This week’s segment looks at flood mitigation approaches that incorporate nature into city design.
As Iowa’s extreme rain events intensify over time, flood management considerations will need to expand beyond river floodplains.
This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.
Floods commonly occur when rivers swell over their banks, but flooding can happen far from river systems, too. Urban flooding occurs when drainage systems fail to move large amounts of storm water away from developed areas quickly.
According to the Iowa Climate Statement 2018, scientists forecast that daily rainfall in Iowa’s most extreme rain events will double by midcentury, meaning cities and towns will have even more water to manage.
One solution is to replace areas of impermeable concrete and asphalt with green infrastructure. These swaths of soil and vegetation absorb and slow down water to process it more naturally and reduce flooding.
Green infrastructure can be incorporated into sidewalks, buildings, backyards and even parking lots. Rain gardens, bio-swales, green roofs and more bring plants, soil and mulch into community design in attractive and helpful ways.
For more information, visit iowa-environmental-focus-dot-org.
From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Sara E. Mason.