Community-Science Partnership to Enhance Stormwater Management and Equity
Awarded by the National Science Foundation’s Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) planning grant program, project partners will engage an emergent community of practice that will co-create a community-scientific research observatory dedicated to enhancing urban adaptation to climate change. These efforts will focus on blue-green infrastructure (BGI) in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, a rapidly growing region facing increased stormwater flooding due to climate change. The team will work toward establishing a community-science working group based on existing and emerging community partnerships; designing, executing and assessing a pilot community-based green infrastructure asset management tool; and developing a Stage 2 proposal.
Texas ACCESS Water Program
A statewide education effort led by TWRI, the Texas ACCESS Water project team includes Texas A&M AgriLife-The Dallas Center, Texas A&M University- College of Engineering-Spark!, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAEN)-Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors. Together, this team will conduct education and outreach to increase knowledge and understanding of water quality, nonpoint source pollution, and other environmental-related topics for Texas students and teachers.
Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters
The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters (HLHW) program is an educational training program that aims to improve and protect surface water quality by enhancing Texas residents’ awareness and knowledge of best management practices for residential landscapes. At workshops, attendees learn about the design and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems and appropriate turf and landscape species based on local conditions. The program is offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in cooperation with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and other partner agencies and organizations.
PMAPS for Texas program
The PMAPS for Texas program provides professional learning experiences for educators by integrating GIS and geo-inquiry tools for collaborative citizen science within communities. PMAPS for Texas educator workshops integrate standards-aligned classroom materials with local environmental monitoring research projects. By combining hands-on training with evidence-based tools from National Geographic and ArcGIS Online, and new materials co-developed by our team and participating educators, PMAPS brings global environmental issues home in a uniquely impactful way. The PMAPS research team includes Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and partners from University of North Texas (UNT), Texas State University (TX State), Texas Stream Team (TST), Student Conservation Association (SCA), and Lewisville Independent School District Science (LISD) Curriculum Team.
Warm-season Turfgrass Specialty Crops Research Initiative
The implementation of sustainable landscapes should be a goal in all regions of the country; however, severe droughts and limited water in the southern and western U.S. are dictating changes to the use and placement of plant material and irrigation in landscapes. Therefore, there is a critical need for turfgrasses that can provide functional surfaces tolerant to drought, reduced irrigation, and irrigation with reclaimed (saline) water. Failure to address these challenges will result in losses of areas planted in turfgrasses, along with their economic, environmental and social benefits. With support from the USDA-NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative, a transdisciplinary team spanning six universities was formed in 2010 to address these challenges.
Green Stormwater Infrastructure for Urban Flood Resilience: Opportunity Analysis for Dallas, Texas
With rapid and widespread conversion of natural land cover to impervious surfaces, especially in Dallas- Fort Worth as the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S., stormwater management is an important challenge for different municipalities. This challenge is expected to be exacerbated by climate change. Cities across the world are increasingly utilizing green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) practices to enhance stormwater management in urbanized watersheds to improve water quality and mitigate urban flooding. This study, led by the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Texas A&M AgriLife, utilized hydrologic modeling and spatial analysis to help answer the overarching research question: Where can green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) most effectively enhance urban flood management within the City of Dallas, Texas, when considering capacity, cost, and future impacts of climate change?
The focus was on evaluating opportunities to enhance flood management where the existing drainage network may be limited. Numerical simulations were used to identify and evaluate potential stormwater system “hotspots”—specific locations where the drainage network is undersized and likely to contribute to aerial flooding, and the “Challenged subwatersheds” draining to them. Models were run for “current conditions” and forecasted “climate change” scenarios for 2045 (RCP 8.5). The “challenged subwatersheds” were spatially evaluated for potential sites to deploy three types of green stormwater infrastructure—bioretention areas, rain gardens, and rainwater harvesting cisterns. For the current condition storms, the capacity and costs were estimated for managing stormwater with the “maximum implementation scenario” of these GSI practices and compared to “gray” infrastructure. Finally, a desktop pre-and post-GSI analysis was performed to determine the potential flood management benefits from the maximum GSI implementation scenario. For more details, please see the following link: https://www.nature.org/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/GSIanalysisREVFINAL.pdf?vu=dallasgsi.