Institute Awards Stormwater Grant to Villanova Professor

To improve water quality and reduce the flooding exacerbated by impervious surfaces, stormwater managers like Villanova's Robert Traver, Ph.D., are investigating and monitoring the effectiveness of low impact development (LID) stormwater systems.

The Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology (CICEET) gave Traver, an associate professor for Civil and Environmental Engineering at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, a $442,787 grant.

Traver's investigative team -- which includes the University of Maryland, North Carolina State University and Low Impact Development - Mid-Atlantic Research Consortium -- monitors the performance of different bioretention and bioinfiltration systems at these three universities in the Mid-Atlantic region. They compare the performance of these systems, refine system design, and study whether the use of low-impact development systems can help return a site to its pre-development hydrology.

 In addition, they are working to develop a model that will predict the effects of implementing LID systems on a watershed, including how changes in rainfall due to climate change affect system performance.

"We hope this work will move us toward understanding more about the engineering aspects of LID concepts such as bioretention raingardens," said Traver.  "By moving design from an art to a science, the use of LID concepts will be more widespread, thereby protecting our river and stream systems."

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