Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016DC180B

Development of A Novel Stormwater Runoff Collection and Treatment System for Urban Agriculture and Food Security

Institute: District of Columbia
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $10,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $34,400

Principal Investigators: Jiajun Xu

Abstract: With the fast increase of urban population, vast quantities of energy and water are being consumed whilst harmful quantities of wastewater and stormwater runoff are generated through the creation of massive impervious areas. In addition, rising oil prices, unreliable rainfall and natural disasters have all contributed to a rise in global food prices. Food security is becoming an increasingly important issue, especially urban residents here in US. There is an urgent need of developing effective and economical feasible solution for the best management practices to minimize storm water runoff, reduce soil erosion, maintain groundwater recharge, and minimize surface water and groundwater contamination from combined sewer overflows[1]. In the last decade, researchers from universities and nongovernment organizations, as well as industry consultants, have proposed new techniques and methodologies to remedy wastewater which include using micro/nanostructured membrane/filtration, nanoparticle catalytic, and chemical reaction etc[1-12]. However, these methods often times are inapplicable for urban agriculture farm or household, because the cost of the system and requirement of post processing are usually time-consuming and expensive [4, 5, 12]. This proposed project will address this issue by the design and development of a novel stormwater collection and treatment system which can harvest and store stormwater from densely populated urban areas and use it to produce food at relatively low costs. This will reduces food miles (carbon emissions) and virtual water consumption and serves to highlight the need for more sustainable land-use planning. The broader goal is to assist in exploring an efficient and cost-effective way to improve regional and global food security, create local capacity and improve social, economic and environmental condition of people and organizations in the District of Columbia through integrating research, teaching and community service in this project. The proposal project will be accomplished through two tasks: 1. Storm water Treatment Material preparations; and 2. Storm water collection and treatment system design and development. The efficiency of the system will be evaluated at the EPA-Certified Environmental Quality Testing Lab at the UDC Van Ness Campus. To broaden the impact of the project, the results will be disseminated through the following approaches: 1. Live demonstration of the stormwater collection and treatment system at UDC; 2. Presentation and tour program at University open house and Engineering Discovery Day at UDC to local high school students and visitors, 4. conference poster/presentation and journal publications. The proposed research is very much useful for the District of Columbia because it can help solve the urban stormwater runoff issue and reduce the cost of stormwater management cost to meet the increasing volume of stromwater runoff and pollution, especially in metropolitan area.