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University of Michigan (2012)

Strategies for Sustainable Surface Water Management in Master Planned Communities in Semi-Arid Environments

Bogaski, Kathleen

Titre : Strategies for Sustainable Surface Water Management in Master Planned Communities in Semi-Arid Environments

Auteur : Bogaski, Kathleen

Université de soutenance : University of Michigan

Grade : Master of Landscape Architecture 2012

Résumé
Continuing concern over environmental issues and the public’s embrace of sustainability has led to a greater expectation for private landowner and developers to participate in the stewardship of the environment, bio-diversity protection, increase of wildlife habitat and use of the new environmental tools for green design. This study investigates creative techniques for water conservation and surface water reuse through an evaluation of the master-planned community of Rancho Viejo de Santa Fe, located in Santa Fe New Mexico over a 10-year period, (2002 to 2012). The project analysis focuses on the level of success of surface water management at Rancho Viejo and on the effectiveness of policies and strategies to conserve water and to improve water quality and supply issues. The case study also explores the challenges of fitting a new community into a sensitive landscape in a manner that preserves the intrinsic values of the landscape, protects wildlife habitat, provides for affordability, conserves water and does so in a political environment where people are extremely protective of their community heritage, dislike change and do not trust corporate outsiders. The first stage of this study was documented by the author in the 2003 Rancho Viejo Surface Water Management Manual, addressing the status of the sustainable components and providing recommended strategies for future development. The 2012 case study re-evaluates these strategies 10 years later, using interviews, literature review, and project site visits. The evaluation suggests that Rancho Viejo achieved the goals of reducing potable water usage (40% below County requirements), established an on-site waste water treatment plant for supplying reuse water for irrigation and preserved 50% of open space for aquifer recharge and habitat preservation. This case study confirms that a collaborative planning process, innovative and tested technical strategies for sustainable site design and construction, and a strong homeowner educational program can result in the following benefits : 1) an expedited approval process, 2) significant reduction in potable water use, 3) reduced infrastructure costs, 4) protection of water recharge areas, 5) protection of open space vegetation and habitats, 6) achievement of marketing and economic goals and 7) desirable, aesthetically-pleasing, healthier, cooler, and livable neighborhood and community.

Mots clés : surface water management ; surface water management ; master planned communities ; sustainable design

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Page publiée le 14 décembre 2013, mise à jour le 12 juillet 2018