Water Resources Management
Human modification of our natural environment necessitates the need for research that can mitigate our impacts on the environment and manage our resources more sustainably for future generations. SAFL conducts numerous projects looking to quantify the impacts of human actions on water quality and quantity as well as aquatic ecosystems. We work in both urban and rural landscapes to build more resilient responses to the growing impacts of climate change, including but not limited to implementing and improving stormwater practices, working to identify better ways to mitigate flooding in rural areas, providing better guidance for culvert design that takes aquatic organism passage into account, working to minimize the spread of invasive flora and fauna, and minimizing the extent of harmful algal blooms in lakes. We use field campaigns, laboratory experiments, and computational tools to approach complex environmental concerns and issues from multiple directions, culminating in robust research outcomes that advances basic knowledge in a field while also having the potential to influence and guide real-time applications.
Read more about SAFL water resources management related projects/research:
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The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of different pretreatment devices in Minnesota. The objective was to gather quantitative data using a common method that will allow for comparisons across devices.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation tasked SAFL researchers with evaluating the use of unsalted permeable pavement in comparison to traditional impermeable salted pavement. Permeable pavement refers to a surface where water can infiltrate into pavement and ultimately become groundwater, rather than running off pavement into the stormwater system.
After a 2011 flood caused extensive damage in Minot, North Dakota, MWH Americas, Inc. was hired to design a pumping station as part of the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Plan, to pump stormwater over the river levee during flood events. The applied engineering team at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory was then tasked to build a physical model of the proposed pumping station to identify and mitigate unanticipated/unacceptable flow patterns prior to construction.