Kenneth Potter (Chair of the Water Resources Management program; Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UW-Madison) will present this public lecture as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Nelson Institute’s Water Resources Management program.
Annual maximum water levels on the Yahara Lakes have been increasing over time, as a result of urbanization and increases in the magnitude and frequency of extreme rainfalls. Climate models predict continued increases in extreme rainfalls. And urbanization will continue as well. The Dane County stormwater ordinance is relatively protective. But is it sufficient to prevent increases in lake flooding due to land development? What about climate change? Our research indicates that the Dane County stormwater ordinance is not sufficient to prevent increases due to urbanization alone, as it allows for increases in the amount of runoff from new developments. Complete control of runoff has been shown to be feasible in many county developments. Where such control is problematic, fees could be collected to enable compensatory practices. One such practice is restoration of formerly “closed” wetlands in the watershed. Such restorations could also provide a buffer to protect against climate change.
This lecture is free and open to the public.