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Evaluating Rain Barrel Garden Irrigation Effectiveness across Climate Zones of the United States (Text)

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  • Stormwater management tactics are becoming increasingly important as communities realize the problems caused by accelerated stormwater runoff. Employing rain barrels to capture roof runoff is one such strategy, but to be effective, this requires a beneficial use for the captured water. One effective use is to divert the captured water to an urban garden to accomplish the required irrigation. A previous analysis of the effectiveness of this rain barrel-urban garden system for the meteorological conditions of Cleveland, Ohio indicated that this strategy would only accomplish a modest reduction in stormwater runoff. The analysis presented here seeks to extend that analysis to the full range of meteorological conditions found in the contiguous United States by applying the same model to 70 cities across the country. The model uses the precipitation record from 2000-2009 and growing season data based on first and last freeze for each of the cities and applies a flow-balance analysis to determine the percent stormwater runoff reduction as a measure of effectiveness of the strategy. The results of this modeling effort are represented as a map of rain barrel effectiveness across the United States, and they show that the strategy is most effective in areas that have little precipitation and long growing seasons, such as in the Southwest. These are also the areas that are least in need stormwater runoff reduction. This approach and the results should help communities evaluate their stormwater management efforts, as they decide the usefulness of encouraging rain barrel use for residential stormwater reduction.
  • 2013-04-05
  • Current
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • English
  • poster
  • application/
  • ksl:liteva00
Identifier ksl:liteva00
Access Rights Open Access
RIS Citation


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Case Western Reserve University Research ShowCASE Posters 2013