How much water goes into the river?

Ever wondered why the streams in your neighbourhood have gotten so wide so quickly? Read this. Something we don’t think about much.

Save Sunnyside Trees

Before gabbing about how I did this and why, I’ll put the answer first (this is for a development area about 500m long and 500m wide):

liters of rain on a rainy day 2005 is pre-development, 2014 is after building five townhouse complexes (over 400 units) and over 150 single family homes. Over 1 million liters of rain falls on the roads on a really rainy day.

I’ve been watching the rain collect on my narrow streets and run down the drain into fish habitat.

SONY DSC

Every time it rains, I wonder how development has affected the amount of road runoff that ends up in rivers and streams.

I did some basic analyses to get a general idea. I chose a recently-developed area, about 256,000 square meters (thanks COSMOS mapping program!), and highlighted the roads (not rooftops or driveways…let’s say that developers have used sub-soil gravel diversions and other techniques to divert that runoff into soil).

glenmore et al road runoff 2005 and 2014, developments east of Grandview Corners (24th Ave…

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