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Track 1 Day 2: Emmons


Reuse of Stormwater in Arid or Humid Climates: It’s All the Same, Right? Not Really

Thursday March 21, 2019
3:30 to 4:00 pm


Brett Emmons, Emmons & Olivier Resources (EOR) Inc.


Stormwater harvesting and use/reuse is fast emerging as a go-to management technique. All over North America, we are rediscovering the age-old value of catching rainwater for later use.

This is a more integrated paradigm for water, rather than the unsustainable “waste product” approach that prevails. The silos in between water sectors, such as supply, wastewater, stormwater, are beginning to crack, but having the right tools to analyze and implement integrated systems is still missing for those silos to fully crumble.

Work on re-writing the MN Stormwater Manual on stormwater harvest and use (aka reuse), plus collaborations with other reuse leaders, such as California, has illustrated different aspects of making reuse systems operational.

Along with issues like water quality standards, the need for appropriate design tools and calculators is still evolving. Design tools were evaluated and recommendations provided as part of the MN Manual update. Experience with various tools has demonstrated that a water budget-based model is needed to for planning, design, and regulatory verification.

Examples of stormwater reuse projects in different settings and using different tools will illustrate the benefits and potential pitfalls of applying tools in the wrong setting. In more water-rich areas, where stormwater volume control is a driving goal, models developed for the arid southwest, that emphasize hoarding the water, are not necessarily cross-compatible.


Learning Objectives

1. Learn the drivers why stormwater harvest and use is a fast growing management technique.

2. Understand that various reuse tools exist and their different objectives.

3. Understand how to apply the correct reuse model-tool to the situation.


Brett Emmons

Brett Emmons

Brett Emmons has 25 years of experience in integrated water resources management. His career includes stormwater work at multiple scales. He co-founded Emmons & Olivier Resources (EOR) and leads new initiatives in several regions areas of the Midwest and Canada.

He holds a Master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and an Undergraduate Degree in Forest Ecology from the University of Illinois.