Moving the needle on urban stormwater - making improvements in efficiency and effectiveness with new information and research

by John Bilotta

2019 begins with an investment in new research to answer questions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness and alleviate challenges in urban stormwater management.  The Water Resources Center (WRC) in collaboration with the Minnesota Stormwater Research Council has recently funded nine innovative research projects now underway. Combined with efforts funded in 2017, these projects will generate much needed information that will improve stormwater management practices, policies, and planning for Minnesota communities, policy leaders, and professionals across the state.  

Highlights of some of the work include:

  • Research on inspiring stormwater action by community members and leaders,
  • Identifying how we might achieve regulatory credits for phosphorus reduction by through street sweeping, and
  • Contaminants and improvements in stormwater ponds that number by the thousands across the state.  

These projects are being completed by researchers and experts including engineers in private enterprise, researchers from multiple academic institutions including the University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State, city professionals and state agency representatives. For a complete list and more information on the specific projects visit the WRC website.

Support for these projects come from the Clean Water Fund established by Minnesota Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment and from the Minnesota Stormwater Research Council.  The WRC and the Council will continue to make investments in new research in the coming year with direction provided in part by the recently completed Stormwater Research Roadmap.   For more information about WRC stormwater efforts and the Council, visit