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Stormwater Management in Keene, NH: An Analysis of Flood Mitigation and Low Impact Development Techniques

Authors: Bryanna Weigel*, Keene State College, Daniella Giese*, Keene State College, Cynthia Clausen*, Keene State College
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: Low Impact Development, Stormwater, Best Management Practices, Flood Mitigation, Sustainability, Urban Planning
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 4:35 PM
Room: Virtual Track 3
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


As development continues in towns and cities across the world, stormwater management has become a significant issue for both local governments and residents. In terms of both quantity and quality, stormwater can be harmful in many ways. Washed out roads and lower water quality levels are examples of how stormwater can negatively impact an area. In Keene, New Hampshire, flooding is a longstanding issue due to large concentrations of impervious surfaces constructed at the lowest elevations in the city. Recognizing this, the local government has taken measures to manage stormwater with low-impact development structures (LIDs) on publicly owned properties. LIDs are installations, such as rain gardens, built to help manage water quantity and quality. The majority of Keene’s LIDs are constructed on public land, although issues with stormwater are magnified on private properties. In this study, we investigate how LIDs are currently incorporated into Keene’s landscape, how they can be better implemented on privately owned properties, and which LID incentive programs are most attractive to Keene’s residents. Through a mixed-methods approach, we use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, participatory mapping, surveys, and interviews to highlight the areas where flooding is a problem, how stormwater is experienced in Keene, and which incentive programs, to promote the installation of LIDs on their property, residents would prefer. Survey responses indicated that rebate incentive programs providing assistance with installation financing resonated most with residents. Furthermore, residents chose rain gardens and rain barrels as their preferred stormwater management methods from a list of LIDs.

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