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Stormwater runoff has become increasingly difficult for municipalities to manage as areas experience development. This increase in residential and commercial development has led to a substantial reduction in the natural canopy cover, and post-development plantings have not begun to replace the loss. This study was carried out to establish the extent to which postdevelopment rain throughfall, and resulting runoff, could be reduced by leaving canopy cover in place. The study compared the volume and intensity of rain that reached the ground in an open area (no canopy cover) versus two areas with intact canopy covers. Rain gauges were placed in a parking lot, and in wooded areas in an environmentally-friendly development in Shelby County, Alabama. Rain was measured for a period of twelve consecutive months and rain throughfall was compared between the sites by season (Spring/Summer vs. Fall/Winter) and by rainfall depth. The sites were sufficiently close to each other to assume that the rainfall characteristics were the same between the sites in terms of the intensity and the variation of intensity and volume during the storm.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2004

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