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Environ Manage. 2007 May;39(5):663-77. Epub 2007 Mar 23.

Nonstructural urban stormwater quality measures: building a knowledge base to improve their use.

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Department of Civil Engineering, Institute for Sustainable Water Resources, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3800, Australia.


This article summarizes a research project that investigated the use, performance, cost, and evaluation of nonstructural measures to improve urban stormwater quality. A survey of urban stormwater managers from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States revealed a widespread trend of increasing use of nonstructural measures among leading stormwater management agencies, with at least 76% of 41 types of nonstructural measures being found to be increasing in use. Data gathered from the survey, an international literature review, and a multicriteria analysis highlighted four nonstructural measures of greatest potential value: mandatory town planning controls that promote the adoption of low-impact development principles and techniques; development of strategic urban stormwater management plans for a city, shire, or catchment; stormwater management measures and programs for construction/building sites; and stormwater management activities related to municipal maintenance operations such as maintenance of the stormwater drainage network and manual litter collections. Knowledge gained on the use and performance of nonstructural measures from the survey, literature review, and three trial evaluation projects was used to develop tailored monitoring and evaluation guidelines for these types of measure. These guidelines incorporate a new evaluation framework based on seven alternative styles of evaluation that range from simply monitoring whether a nonstructural measure has been fully implemented to monitoring its impact on waterway health. This research helps to build the stormwater management industry's knowledge base concerning nonstructural measures and provides a practical tool to address common impediments associated with monitoring and evaluating the performance and cost of these measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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