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GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE AT THE CAMPUS AND WATERSHED SCALE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

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Over the last eight years, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) has been developing, implementing, and refining a multi-tiered approach to meeting stormwater management objectives and regulatory requirements. The use of innovative and sustainable green infrastructure techniques that consider both site and watershed level implications are increasingly being emphasized. Initially, this strategy was utilized on the 740 acre central campus. More recently, it has become a component of the master planning effort for a 250 acre expansion campus. An ambitious vision for a sustainable campus, measured along many dimensions including water management, has been adopted for this site. Recent, aggressive nutrient reduction targets associated with the total maximum daily load for a downstream water supply reservoir also have increased the importance of innovative stormwater management approaches and their integration with water supply and wastewater treatment strategies.

This paper outlines the regulatory and financial framework and the watershed context within which stormwater is managed. For the central campus, which contained over 13 million square feet of facilities when the stormwater management strategy was implemented, the best management practices utilized to date are discussed, including land cover and pollutant loading changes and lesson learned. For the new campus, being built on the site of a general aviation airport, existing and proposed conditions are outlined along with the green infrastructure strategies to be employed. This new campus affords the opportunity to take an integrated systems approach to water management that considers the benefits and treatment capabilities of soils, vegetation, and topography as well as the beneficial uses of rainwater harvesting and water conservation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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