Increase Area Under Enhanced Stormwater Management

Clouds and lightening

OBJECTIVE

Expand the area on campus that meets high standards for improved surface water quality and reduced runoff, and monitor outcomes so that best practices can be shared.

TARGETS

Expand enhanced stormwater management area (acres)

Stormwater Dashboard Graph

*2019 status refers to stormwater management areas that can absorb 90th percentile rainfall events.

**2026 and 2046 targets include the newly proposed Lake Campus that may include management of 95th percentile rain events.

  • Baseline
  • Current Performance
  • Future Targets

Global Context, Local Action

Intensified urbanization coupled with more frequent, heavier rain events across the globe are contributing to increased stormwater runoff, exacerbating pollution and flooding. Heavy downpours are only expected to become more frequent and intense as global temperatures increase.8

In the United States, stormwater is already among the fastest growing sources of water pollution, and the most significant water quality challenge in New Jersey.9,10

More than a decade ago, stormwater management became an area of focus in Princeton’s campus planning and sustainability efforts, leading to more than 20 projects that have reduced runoff while helping to restore the quality of the local watershed.

Short and Long Term Objectives

As we look ahead, our strategies expand the area under enhanced management as we address the quantity and quality of campus stormwater runoff to Lake Carnegie, the D&R Canal and other regional waterways. Our strategies also include an ongoing outflow monitoring program to track the impacts of campus management.

Princeton’s Progress To Date

In 2008, the University began implementing enhanced stormwater management through a campus-wide, ecosystem-based approach. Since that time, more than 20 stormwater projects — ranging from porous pavement to green roofs — have been implemented across 100 acres of the campus. To date, these strategies have contributed to reducing annual runoff by approximately 23 million gallons (35 percent), while improving the quality of remaining runoff.

Campus Stormwater Management Summary, 2006-2018

Campus Stormwater Management Summary

Campus Action Items

  • Pursue opportunities to restore stream corridors, lake edges and wetlands.
  • Achieve enhanced stormwater management objectives through new construction projects and campus landscape solutions (e.g., subsurface infiltration, bioretention, stormwater harvesting, green roofs, porous pavement, natural storm water treatment landscapes, green infrastructure corridors, etc.).
  • Implement an ongoing monitoring program for campus stormwater outflow quality and quantity.
  • Study the feasibility of converting conventionally farmed campus land to sustainable farming practices with minimal synthetic chemical inputs.
  • Advance evidence-based stormwater management solutions by actively encouraging students, faculty and staff to use the campus as a living lab.
  • Raise the visibility of active stormwater management research across the University community through communications such as temporary interpretive signage in the landscape and experiential learning activities in courses.
  • Apply behavioral science approaches to promote interaction with integrative stormwater management and habitat areas on campus.
  • Scale action beyond Princeton through information-sharing and collaboration with, for example, local municipalities and watershed organizations.
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