Stormwater Symposium


374832 - The impact of back-to-back rainfall events on green infrastructure reliability

Tuesday, June 5
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Greenway AB
Co-Authors: Ashlynn Stillwell, Urbana, IL – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Although green stormwater infrastructure has multiple benefits in urban environments, its performance is notoriously variable. Within the context of hydrologic metrics, climatic, soil, and vegetation parameters are all important for performance efficiency. A particular challenge for scientists studying green infrastructure is the impact of soil antecedent moisture on hydrological performance metrics. Variability in soil moisture and rainfall patterns makes runoff analysis uncertain for single events. Because antecedent soil moisture has a significant impact on performance, timing and inter-storm duration for smaller events can also be important metrics for assessing performance. In other words, green infrastructure can underperform even for small storms if there is a short enough inter-storm duration.

Due to the high levels of uncertainty associated with green infrastructure performance, a reliability-based framework is especially well-suited to analyzing the appropriateness of green infrastructure for different performance objectives. The concept of reliability can be used to account for low impact events as a result of repeated, smaller forcings, in order to better calculate the probability of failure of a given form of infrastructure. A similar framework can be used to address concerns regarding antecedent moisture conditions and green infrastructure performance reliability. This presentation evaluates the impact of inter-storm duration and back-to-back rainfall events on the performance reliability of green stormwater infrastructure, thereby filling an important gap in the literature.

Reshmina William, MS

Graduate research assistant
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Reshmina K. William is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Hydrology and Hydraulics area in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research explores the connections between energy, green stormwater infrastructure, and urban policymaking. In particular, she is interested in characterizing the spatial optimization of green roof implementation in combined sewer networks for large urban areas.

Reshmina completed her M.S. and B.S. degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a minor in Political Science. Her M.S. thesis focused on the use of reliability analysis techniques to evaluate green infrastructure risk under different storm scenarios. She spent much of her time on campus as a leader of the Engineers Without Borders student chapter, and traveled in January 2014 as part of a team implementing a water distribution source for a rural community in Cameroon. She has conducted independent research for the EWB chapter on the effects of deep tap root trees on a local unconfined aquifer, and presented her research at the 2014 EWRI World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, winning first place in the student poster competition. Outside of EWB, Reshmina is passionate about environmental advocacy, classical literature, and music.


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374832 - The impact of back-to-back rainfall events on green infrastructure reliability

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