WERF Study Develops Protocols for Wet Weather Studies

A group of researchers has set out to develop a systematic approach that could evaluate the impacts of land use patterns and stormwater management strategies on the health of streams in developing areas. The research, funded and managed by the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), resulted in a report, Protocols for Studying Wet Weather Impacts and Urbanization Patterns. The protocols, designed for urban stormwater management agencies, could prevent the severe ecological deterioration that threatens urban streams. The main protocol is an eight-step process that integrates data collection and analysis with mathematical modeling of runoff from existing and planned urban development. The results determine how biologic health responds to the urbanization.

"This procedure provides a scientific platform in establishing suitable rules and design standards for real estate development plans," said Jane Casteline, WERF program manager. "Using the protocol early in the process may lessen damage to river ecology before a problem develops." In addition to the full protocol, the report also provides a simpler process that does not require extensive data collection.

The report is free to WERF subscribers and is available for purchase by non-subscribers. To get the report, visit www.werf.org, and designate stock number 03WSM3 on the publications page.

The principal research investigators were Larry A. Roesner and Brian P. Bledsoe of Colorado State University and Christine A. Pomeroy from the University of Utah.

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