All talks are held at the UA, Sol Resnick Conference Room (350 N. Campbell Ave.), from 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Assessing Water Security at Global and Local Scales
Date: November 10
Speaker: Jacob Petersen-Perlman, Research Analyst, WRRC
Ensuring a readily available supply of water that has an acceptable quality for health, livelihoods, and production continues to be a challenge across the world. This challenge is made greater by increasing demands on water supply, increasing variability in water supplies due to climatic change, and increasing costs of construction of large-scale water infrastructure. Political boundaries crossing watersheds further complicate matters. This presentation discusses water security at two scales: 1) a global assessment of transboundary watersheds likely to experience hydro-political tensions in future years based upon environmental, political, and economic indicators and 2) a methodology to improve water security at the local level. The presentation will draw from work submitted to the Global Environment Facility’s Transboundary Waters Assessment Program and the Regional Environmental Center’s WATER SUM project.
Low Impact Development: A Brief Overview of Features
Date: November 29
Speaker: Jeff McCormick, Town Manager, Town of Pima (Graham County)
Low-Impact Development (LID) is a concept that began in Prince George’s County, Maryland in 1990, as a practical alternative to traditional stormwater management practices. LID includes a series of land engineering and development features that minimize infrastructure, control stormwater runoff near its origin, and help recharge aquifers and restore watersheds, in addition to playing an important role in Smart Growth, Green Building, and helping with Clean Water Act compliance. LID emphasizes both land and water conservation, and with its minimalistic dependence on infrastructure, LID utilizes on-site natural features which help protect water quality while retaining the natural hydrology of the site and preserving its before-development water runoff characteristics. LID minimizes the use of impervious surfaces such as asphalt or concrete, which enhances the ability to control water runoff and improves infiltration. The economic incentives for utilizing LID appeal to developers and capture the attention of engineers. Curbside gutters are typically unnecessary, as other engineering techniques are utilized to direct water runoff. Underground piping is minimized, as the water is contained on-site and allowed to infiltrate into the soil. Small retention basins replace larger basins, which increases the number of lots in a development project and often increases the value of those lots. With the reduced infrastructure, impact fees are usually lower, sometimes significantly lower. Developers and engineers integrating LID principles into development projects often see higher profit margins. LID is virtually maintenance free, and its use of native vegetation and less land disturbance enhances the property’s aesthetics and conserves its natural features. What’s more, LID has demonstrated a remarkable capacity to manage the substantial runoff volumes involved in major storm events and reduce or prevent property damage.