Integrated storm-water management for watershed sustainability

Robert Pitt, Shirley E. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


One aspect of integrated watershed management evaluates the impact of development on the local hydrologic cycle and, in particular, drinking water, wastewater, and storm-water infrastructure. Sustainable storm-water management focuses on selecting storm-water controls based on an understanding of the problems in local receiving waters that result from runoff discharges. For example, long-term problems associated with accumulations of pollutants in water bodies include sedimentation in conveyance systems and receiving waters, nuisance algal growths, inedible fish, undrinkable water, and shifts to less sensitive aquatic organisms. Short-term problems associated with high pollutant concentrations or frequent high flows (event-related) include swimming beach closures, water quality violations, property damage from increased flooding, and habitat destruction. A wide variety of individual storm-water controls usually must be combined to form a comprehensive wet weather management strategy. Unfortunately, combinations of controls are difficult to analyze. This will require new modeling techniques that can effectively evaluate a wide variety of control practices and land uses, while at the same time ensure that the flood-control objectives also are met. The results of these new models and novel techniques used for storm-water control then can be incorporated into an evaluation of the urban water cycle for a specific service area to determine whether storm-water controls can provide additional benefits such as reduction of potable water use and reduction of sanitary sewer overflow events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)548-555
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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