Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2014NJ351B

Assessing Impervious Cover for Application of Green Infrastructure Practices "Undergraduate Student Research Initiative"

Institute: New Jersey
Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $25,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $33,000

Principal Investigators: Christopher Obropta

Abstract: The proposed project is intended to engage undergraduate students in research on the impacts of impervious cover and assessing viability of impervious surfaces for management with green infrastructure practices that will help municipalities become more resilient to the changing climate. The project will focus on the municipalities within the Raritan River Basins. The Raritan River Basin is approximately 1,100 square miles in size and contains portions of seven counties and 98 municipalities. Based upon a preliminary land cover analysis of the entire basin, the basin contains 140 square miles of impervious cover or 89,482 acres of impervious cover. For the New Jersey Water Quality Design Storm of 1.25 inches of rain over two-hours, approximately three billion gallons of stormwater runs off these impervious surfaces. Assuming an annual rainfall of 44 inches, approximately 107 billion gallons of stormwater runs off these impervious surfaces per year. As the climate continues to change, New Jersey can expect more intense storms and more annual rainfall, which will result in more flooding and higher risk for residents and businesses within the Raritan River Basin. To help municipalities in the Raritan River Basin become more resilient, stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces has to be better managed. Developing tools to identify, assess and prioritize impervious surfaces for applications of green infrastructure practices is the key to successfully reducing flooding, improving water quality, and enhancing resiliency.