Speaker Bio

Tess Houle is a landscape designer at MRWM landscape architects, recently earned a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of New Mexico (May 2018), and is a Certified Water Harvesting Practitioner through the Watershed Management Group (March 2017). Tess grew up in the Albuquerque area and has been interested in arid water issues for many years. She is excited to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration to bring the many ecological and human health benefits of Green Stormwater Infrastructure to the Middle Rio Grande watershed.

For the Health of the Middle Rio Grande Valley: A Proposal for Green Stormwater Infrastructure

This research summarizes opportunities and barriers to widespread green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) implementation in the Middle Rio Grande watershed. An overview of the benefits and relevance of GSI and low impact development (LID) in semi-arid environments is discussed. Regulatory frameworks governing stormwater in the Middle Rio Grande Valley are examined in relation to current practices and barriers to implementation.

Synthesis of post-construction practices draws primarily on existing GSI/LID guides from other semi-arid locations in the United States as well as documents from the Middle Rio Grande Valley and interviews with local experts. Findings from seven foundational topics of GSI practice are applied to three common conditions: unstable slopes, parking lots, and roof runoff. Research from the three conditions is then applied to a site in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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