Urban stormwater runoff is excess runoff created by increased imperviousness in an urbanized watershed and can have significant impacts on both water quantity and quality. Natural communities and human communities are faced with damages that occur as a result of the change in the type and magnitude of stormwater runoff flows, including but not limited to increased flooding and degradation of natural aquatic systems. Therefore, from both an economic and ecological perspective, it is important that urban planners effectively manage excess stormwater runoff. This paper details the development of an ecological-economic model that can be used to guide urban planners in the implementation of cost-effective abatement solutions for a given watershed. The model can be used on a large-scale to guide stormwater management policies in entire counties, watersheds, etc., but can also be applied on a smaller scale, which is demonstrated by a case study in a sub-section of the Allen Creek watershed located primarily in the Town of Brighton, NY. The case study is focused on the impact of a potential development project in Brighton on the downstream residential properties and uses a hedonic price model to estimate the marginal damage cost of additional average annual stormwater runoff as a result of the new development project. This marginal damage cost is compared to the marginal cost of residential abatement technologies to determine the optimal volume of abatement in the Town of Brighton. Though focused primarily on the cost of increased water quantity, the preliminary results indicate that the marginal damage cost of runoff in this community is larger than the marginal abatement independent of the existing volume of average annual runoff experienced by the community. Therefore, in its current state, the Town of Brighton needs to encourage the abatement of all stormwater runoff in the community and any additional development would require additional abatement measures that must extend beyond strictly residential abatement.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Urban runoff--Management--Case studies; City planning--Environmental aspects
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Biomedical Sciences (CHST)
Hellman, Kelly, "An Economic approach to the ecological issues of urban stormwater runoff: A Case study of the Allen Creek Watershed in Monroe County, New York" (2011). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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