Rainwater harvesting plan for The Gregory School in Tucson, AZ

Yuyao Catherine Hu1, Erika L. Gallo2

1The Gregory School, Tucson, Arizona

2Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

The urban footprint and human population of cities in water limited regions is expected to grow in the coming decades.  This expansion will further stress already scarce local water resources.  In response, municipalities across the Southwest have encouraged the on-site retention of rain water and storm runoff to offset municipal water demand for irrigation purposes.  Here we present a plan to expand and improve the current stormwater management system at The Gregory School in Tucson, AZ.  We have designed a school-wide rainwater harvesting system that: 1) uses the stormwater infrastructure that is already in place; 2) takes into account the characteristics of seasonal rainfall; 3) works with the microtopography of the school as identified using LiDAR data, and 4) carefully incorporates the use of common areas for varied purposes.  We have designed infiltration basins that alleviate flooding in specific areas of the school and basins that enhance watering of existing vegetation.  Finally, we have identified locations for tree plantings that will enhance the shade canopy and diminish the urban heat island effect at our school.  The first phase of this long-term plan will be executed during the first week in April of 2017.

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