By Robinson Low and Darby Swayne, graduate students at UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs
Catalyzing Innovation in Stormwater Solutions
The iconic rain of the Puget Sound region creates problems when it hits the streets and other impervious surfaces that characterize this highly developed urban landscape. The resulting stormwater runoff carries toxic contaminants into nearby waterways, degrades habitat and water quality, and causes flooding, touching nearly all facets of the coupled human and natural system.
In 2019, the Water 100 Project kicked off an effort to identify, assess, fund, and implement the 100 most substantive solutions for improving system conditions, benefiting humans and nature in ways that extend well beyond stormwater pollution. Researchers at the University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy are taking this work a step further, exploring innovative tools to galvanize high-impact stormwater solutions and address prioritization challenges including project placement, equitable impacts, and limited data availability.
This article is the third installment in a three-part series describing the methodologies utilized by three UW research teams and their thoughts on how these tools might benefit future conservation work.