UC Berkeley team takes second place in EPA design contest to reduce stormwater Pollution
The Campus RainWorks Challenge is a design competition developed by the EPA to encourage college and university students to think about sustainable, green infrastructure systems that can address stormwater pollution, one of the biggest threats to water quality in the United States. The competition is divided into two segments — the Master Plan category, which covers broader infrastructure solutions for school campuses, and the Demonstration Project Category, which covers infrastructure solutions for a particular site.
At UC Berkeley, the student team examined the university’s first botanical garden, which is a creek site featuring exotic plants. Unfortunately, those species are not as conducive to the local habitat needs as native species and do not reduce runoff. The UC Berkeley team’s proposed design would increase native species and increase the site’s surface area by 33 percent, changes that they estimate would store 37,000 cubic feet of stormwater runoff, as well as reduce flooding and promote ecological diversity.
The EPA plans to announce its next instalment of the Campus RainWorks Challenge, which will be the fifth in as many years, this summer.