Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2018DC199B

Quantifying Innovative Productive Green Infrastructure

Institute: District of Columbia
Year Established: 2018 Start Date: 2018-03-01 End Date: 2019-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $10,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $4,800

Principal Investigators: Harris Trobman, Kamran Zendehdel

Abstract: Today, more and more people are moving to urban areas. Since 2000, more than 80 percent of US population lives in urban areas. Urbanization has contributed to two important problems, food insecurity, and stormwater runoff. To reduce urban food insecurity, roof tops in urban areas recently used as a potential to grow food and provide urban residents with access to healthy food. In addition, cities have been using green infrastructure (GI) projects such as greenroofs to control stormwater. Green infrastructure projects are considered as a technique that can restore water cycle and improve water quality in urban areas. Green infrastructure practices restore water cycle and reduce stormwater by holding water and releasing it slowly into a drainage system. Due to the rapidly growing interest in urban agriculture and green infrastructure a new form of greenroofs - rooftop farming - is recently emerging. This is an answer to both stormwater and food insecurity problem and being able to use the limited urban space to produce food for urban residents. In this research, we aim to focus on the productive greenroof system and find out how this new system can contribute to stormwater management. While it is theorized that there should be a potential to use productive greenroofs as a GI tool to control stormwater and produce food in urban areas not enough research exist to quantify the potential of the system to minimize stormwater problem with limited nutrient and sediment pollution. The current information pertaining to productive greenroofs as a new green infrastructure tool neither enough quantifies nor substantiates the stormwater and associated environmental benefits. These benefits are often just touched upon or estimated if mentioned at all. Green infrastructure is being used as a tool to mitigate stormwater runoff in urban areas, where runoff is a major source of water pollution. Our goals in this research are to quantify the impact of productive greenroofs on stormwater feature of the greenroofs and quantify the quality and quantity of water that passes through the system. We will use the UDC productive greenroof and use orifice restricted device (ORD) and electronic sensors to measure the quality and quantity of stormwater generated by the roof. The result of this study will enable us to have a better understanding of productive greenroofs and their impact on stormwater management.