Stormwater Management Techniques for Ecosystem Restoration Using Flow Regime Improvements

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This study demonstrates how stormwater management techniques can produce ecosystem restoration through flow regime restoration. The study acknowledges other factors, such as water quality and habitat influence ecosystem restoration, but focuses upon hydrology restoration for overall watershed restoration guidance. The study uses established relationships between flow regime and watershed characteristics to set a flow restoration target consistent with a healthy aquatic community. By focusing on two urbanized watersheds in the Great Lakes, BMP performance comparisons were made. For example, conventional stormwater management was compared with Low Impact Development (LID). General guidelines on flow regime restoration potential were developed based on watershed characteristics.

A methodology for quantification of watershed restoration needs was derived based on calculating the BMP volume needed to meet flow regime restoration targets. Further BMP prioritization focused upon a method to value additional BMP benefits (water quality, habitat, etc.). Finally, potential BMP implementation incentives were summarized.

The findings indicate that BMP implementation can significantly improve the flow regime in urbanized watersheds. The flow regime restoration can complement other watershed management objectives such as non-point source water quality improvements, CSOs, and increased habitat value.

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