Project Title

Re-Inventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure: Assessing hydrologic impacts of urbanization using high resolution models


Reed Maxwell



Geology and Geologic Engineering

Project summary

Urban infrastructures have impervious surfaces that directly affect the hydrology of the system. Impervious surfaces affect drainage networks, alter aqueous flow paths, change feedbacks to the atmosphere and promote contaminant transport. Through the usage of a fully integrated physical hydrology model, this study aims to investigate the impacts of green infrastructure within an urban environment. The model used for analysis is ParFlow, a fully coupled physical hydrologic model that simulates surface and subsurface water interactions, coupled with the common land model (CLM) to simulate land surface processes. Analysis includes investigating stormwater routing, infiltration, pollutant transport and water quality during infiltration and storage on a test domain. Hydrologic impacts will also be investigated, from an economic perspective to determine the costs of urbanization upon water resources, under what conditions green infrastructure projects may produce positive benefit-cost ratios, as well as how such infrastructure may impact optimal water resource management strategies. This work is part of a NSF funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) focused on rethinking the management of urban

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