W e l c o m e
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This year is especially meaningful because Dovetail Partners is on the cusp of its 10th year of delivering trusted environmental information. We are excited about what we have accomplished over the past decade and look forward to what we have in store for 2013 and beyond. With our mission to inform environmental decisions, we will continue to work on today’s most pressing environmental issues affecting our lands, lives and communities. I hope you will join in supporting the work of Dovetail Partners as a sustaining partner that will help make our 10th year our best year yet.
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Kathryn Fernholz Jeff Howe, Ph.D.
Executive Director Chairman and President
P.S.: Thank you to everyone who has already responded to our August fundraising campaign! Your support is very meaningful and has great impact on our programs and activities! Thank you!
D o v e t a i l C o m m e n t a r y
Hello from the land of 10,000 lakes! Well, actually Minnesota has 11,842 lakes with a surface area greater than 10 acres (40,000 square meters)… including the BIG one – Lake Superior, which, at 20,365,000 acres, is the largest surface area of fresh water on earth. To some extent we thought this made us relative experts on the topic of water, so this month we have an article on stormwater management and next month we will have an article on watersheds, both issues that should be near and dear to all our hearts. Water is such an important topic we thought we’d do a brief refresher here as a prep for those articles.
Fresh water is critical to the survival of terrestrial life on this planet. The survival process is pretty simple – at its heart we simply need air, water, and food. Without air, we survive only minutes. Without water, hours or perhaps days; and without food, we would survive only a few weeks. Luckily, the earth provides these things in abundance and somewhat proportional to those needs – although the distribution is inconsistent. The limiting factor today and for the near future appears to be water. The pressure exerted on global water supplies is multi-faceted as we consume water directly but also indirectly through virtually all our food supplies.
D o v e t a i l R e p o r t
Lead Authors: Matt Frank & Madeline Vargo
Precipitation events produce massive amounts of water, which flow into the nearest body of water following the path of least resistance. In natural settings, pervious surfaces are abundant, allowing water to infiltrate into the ground. However, in built environments, impervious surfaces, such as roads, sidewalks, buildings and parking lots that inhibit the natural infiltration of water, abound. Since water cannot penetrate impervious surfaces it must instead flow over them as runoff. In urban areas excess water is collected in an engineered system of stormwater drains to control flow. Along its path, stormwater runoff may collect debris, sediment, and contaminants, resulting in negative environmental impacts to the water bodies into which it ultimately flows. Additionally, many large U.S. cities have combined sewer and stormwater systems in which large rainfall events may produce high stormwater flows that result in untreated sewage flowing directly into natural water bodies, further contributing to water quality degradation.
Green infrastructure may be implemented in urban and rural areas as a means to manage runoff entering stormwater drainage systems. In contrast to traditional grey infrastructure, such as stormwater drains, green infrastructure mimics natural, pre-development landscapes and their ability to capture, retain, and reuse water on-site. Green systems reduce stormwater flows, help to restore natural hydrology patterns, and improve water quality. Cities across the United States are recognizing the ecological and economic benefits green infrastructure presents and have begun implementing it into their water management plans in a variety of ways. This report highlights various green infrastructure techniques and some of the unique approaches of large municipalities.
“The Outlook” is the monthly e-newsletter of Dovetail Partners Inc,
a 501c3 nonprofit corporation.
Dovetail Partners is a highly skilled team that provides authoritative
information about the impacts and trade-offs of environmental decisions,
including consumption choices, land use, and policy alternatives.
Dovetail Partners, Inc.
528 Hennepin Ave, Suite 703
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Phone: (612) 333-0430
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