Soils are a major contributor to clean water and keeping water in its place.
But, as cities developed on former forest and prairie land, humans engineered ways to “manage” the water flow. However, many cities realize that working with nature, and its soil, is healthier and less expensive for the environment. Here are some tips from the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) about “what can the average citizen do?
Step 1: Conserve the soil
Like any sustainable strategy, the most important starting point is conservation. Conserving our green spaces and caring for the soil that’s already in place is central to creating healthy ground for improved stormwater management. This includes reducing soil compaction and erosion, and promoting soil health. Strategies for improving soil include:
• Amending soils with compost
• Letting leaves and grass clippings decompose in place to restore soil organic matter
• Using compost socks and berms to prevent erosion in areas under construction
• Planting trees and native plants in areas where soil is bare
Step 2: Install a rain garden or other green infrastructure feature
Residential rain gardens not only reduce flooding in your neighborhood but can increase property values and are a charming landscape feature. Other green infrastructure tools for reducing runoff include use of rain barrels or cisterns, disconnecting downspouts, and installing green roofs. Many municipalities have developed incentive programs to share the cost of construction.
Step 3: Create a community
The impact of these strategies will be enhanced if they are implemented on a community level. Clustering rain gardens in a designated area such as a neighborhood block allows pooling of resources, the potential for shared maintenance, and a greater collective impact on runoff.
Tips for inspiring community stormwater projects:
Communicate! Talk to your neighbors or hold a community event to educate the neighborhood about the issues surrounding stormwater runoff.
Collaborate! Reach out to landscapers, nurseries, and other vendors who might be willing to give you bulk discounts for group projects. Local non-profits or government agencies may also be helpful.
Educate! Post signage in yards or parking strips where projects have been built to bring attention to the economic and environmental values of green infrastructure.
Share! Organize a tour of your rain garden project to inspire other communities to create their own projects.
For more information on using your soil more wisely, visit soils.org/discover-soils/soils-in-the-city. Topics under Soils in the City include Community Gardens, Green Infrastructure, Green Roofs, and Soil Contaminants. SSSA also has an informational blog about soils, called Soils Matter, at http://soilsmatter.wordpress.com/
Susan Fisk | newswise
Savannahs help to slow climate change
22.05.2015 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Surviving Harsh Environments Becomes a Death-Trap for Specialist Corals
21.05.2015 | University of Southampton
Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.
Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...
Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services
To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...
The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...
On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.
RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This "nanosponge-hydrogel" minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA - without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.
To make the nanosponge-hydrogel, the team mixed nanosponges, which are nanoparticles that absorb dangerous toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli and other...
20.05.2015 | Event News
18.05.2015 | Event News
12.05.2015 | Event News
22.05.2015 | Materials Sciences
22.05.2015 | Information Technology
22.05.2015 | Materials Sciences