GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 25-13
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


COCKERILL, Kristan1, ANDERSON Jr., William P.2, GROOTHUIS, Peter3, GU, Chuanhui4, MOHR, Tanga3 and WHITEHEAD, John3, (1)Appalachian State University, Interdisciplinary Studies Program, ASU Box 32080, Boone, NC 28608, (2)Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Appalachian State University, ASU Box 32067, Boone, NC 28608-2067, (3)Economics, Appalachian State University, ASU Box 32013, Boone, NC 28608, (4)School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China

Stormwater runoff contributes to flooding and water quality concerns in many urban areas. While the need to manage stormwater is well established, there has been less concerted effort to identify linkages among the physical reality of stormwater and the social aspects relevant to managing stormwater. In response, our multidisciplinary research team has been studying stormwater from various angles to create a more holistic view of the issue and ways to mitigate negative impacts. Our work has included monitoring an urbanized headwater stream in the mountains of North Carolina to better understand issues related to runoff and using that information to model approaches to stormwater management. Additionally, we have surveyed residents throughout the mountains of Appalachia as to their understanding of and attitudes toward stormwater runoff. Our monitoring efforts show that temperature and salt are pressing issues for our case stream and likely for other urban mountain streams. In response, we have modeled implementing low impact development technologies (e.g. pervious pavement, rain gardens) to assess which are most effective in lowering temperatures and reducing salinity. The model suggests that pervious pavement is the most effective approach, while smaller scale efforts like rain barrels are less effective. Our survey results find that respondents do not appreciate the connections between runoff and various water quality concerns and hence do not report significant concern about high water temperatures or salinity. Respondents do, however, report general support for various stormwater management efforts and are willing to pay to see stormwater management improve overall water quality.