Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2018SD269B

Stormwater management and ecosystem health: The complementary role of green infrastructure in urban environments

Institute: South Dakota
Year Established: 2018 Start Date: 2018-06-01 End Date: 2020-07-20
Total Federal Funds: $12,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $24,000

Principal Investigators: James Stone, Charles Fenster, Henning Nottebrock, A Leffler, Heidi Sieverding

Abstract: The growing urban populations and intensification of agriculture in South Dakota have necessitated management of stormwater and investments in surface water control infrastructure. These structures have ecosystem, wildlife, and social benefits beyond surface water runoff control and treatment. These additional benefits, such as wildlife habitat or pollination, are often not considered in management decisions and designs because they are indirect, difficulty to quantify, and geographically relative. Managing runoff with green stormwater infrastructure could be further encouraged in both rural and urban settings if these benefits were considered when determining size, selecting plant communities and structure type, and placement. The goal of this project is to develop a proof-of-concept demonstrating that the impact of plant communities within green stormwater infrastructure can be quantified regarding water management, pollinators, and overall urban ecosystem health. The initial focus of this research will be on urban impacts and will use the Rapid City, SD urban area as proof-of-concept study areas to evaluate green infrastructure impacts. We will determine the relationship between the plant communities, pollinator benefits, and stormwater impacts to better understand how green stormwater infrastructure affects landscape-scale ecosystem services. A proof-of-concept methodology to assess green infrastructure impacts in terms of both water quality and ecosystem health will be developed based on this research.