Adapting Portland’s Stormwater Approach to Other U.S. Cities

Author(s): Gallo, W.; Overbey, E.

The Pacific Northwest, specifically Portland, OR, has become a recognized leader in progressive and creative stormwater management practices in the United States. Its projects have received numerous design awards and recognition based on their innovative approach to manage stormwater for both quality and quantity using primarily small-scale vegetated facilities. Designers throughout the country use Portland as a model of what could be done elsewhere, however there are numerous differences that have to be accounted for.

The presentation will explore the inherent differences between stormwater management in the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the United States, and also the opportunities that can be shared with the rest of the country. The research focuses on Portland's practice of providing a simplified sizing factor for small scale best management practices. The researchers re-created Portland's sizing factors and then modified the variables to reflect a range of locations elsewhere in the United States.

Through this approach, the study highlights just how different, and more complicated, it is to apply small scale best management practices to other parts of the country. However, the differences, while in some instances are quite significant, point to opportunities to design future facilities around the specific needs of each location. This will be demonstrated by illustrating how a built work in Portland could be modified to meet other regions' climatic differences.

Armed with a better understanding of what it means to take the Pacific Northwest's triumphs and apply them to the rest of the country, the study hopes to allow designers to more meaningfully engage clients and engineers in a dialogue about specific issues and opportunities related to adapting Portland approaches to their own watershed.
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Technical Sessions

1 Best Management Practices #1
2 Delta Water Assessment
3 Flood Assessment & Mgmt.
4 Wetlands
5 Watershed Mgmt. #1
6 Non-Point Source Assessment
7 Modeling
8 Water Quality
9 Best Mgt. Practices #2
10 Delta Water Conservation
11 Sedimentation
12 Storm Water
13 Watershed Mgt. #2
14 Public Water Systems
15 Surface Water Assessment & Evaluation

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