Links for the Region
2005 Estimated Use of Water in the United States
Released by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2009, this report provides an overview of U.S. water consumption, detailing quantity, source and purpose. Over 410 billion gallons of water are used every day in the U.S.
A number of green infrastructure programs are currently underway in municipalities, capital cities, and campuses across the country. By limiting the amount of stormwater runoff entering our sewer systems, these projects have verified that green roofs, porous pavements, vegetated swales and other forms of green infrastructure can serve as cost-effective, environmentally preferable alternatives to conventional stormwater conveyance and treatment structures.
Advanced Ways to Clean Up Our Water
This guide from the Natural Resources Defense Council looks at ways to improve water quality in your home. Runoff from lawns, sidewalks, roads and driveways is a major contributor to surface water pollution. By making some simple changes to your everyday activities, you can reduce the flow of runoff.
Green roofs 101
A green roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered in vegetation that brings with it a multitude of benefits. This site is a helpful introduction to green roofs, discussing green roof concepts, advantages and even a "how to" guide to start your very own green roof.
Protecting Water Quality from Urban Runoff
This site produced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes how urbanized areas affect water quality.
Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources Annual Report 2008
This report provides annual statistics for Gwinnett County, Georgia and was used for the Intelligent Cities “Regional” infographic.
U.S. Green Building Council – Neighborhood Development
The USGBC is committed to facilitating the development and retrofit of neighborhoods that integrate the combined principles of smart locations, neighborhood design, and green infrastructure and building. This site offers resources on how to make a more green and sustainable cityscape.
American Rivers is the leading conservation organization standing up for healthy rivers so communities can thrive. Its site has information on a number of programs which aim to restore, revitalize, and protect our nation’s rivers.
United States Bureau of Reclamation
The United States Bureau of Reclamation manages, develops, and protects water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public. The site offers a database with current information on all Dams, Powerplants and Projects, letting you search for water facilities near you.
American Society of Landscape Architects
The ASLA is the national professional association with the mission is to lead, to educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. This site contains a number of policies which aims to minimize water pollution and improve the quality of water sources in America.
United States Geological Survey – Water Quality
The National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program has produced more than 1,500 reports describing how water quality conditions vary locally, regionally, and nationally; whether conditions are getting better or worse over time; and how natural features and human activities affect these conditions.
A brief introduction to the issue of impervious surfaces and the growing prevalence of urban flooding, with the example of floods in Atlanta, Georgia used to illustrate the issue. Provided by the United States Geological Survey.
Paving Paradise: The Peril of Impervious Surfaces
Author Lance Frazer explores the issue of impervious surfaces and the impacts they have on water runoff, water quality, and watershed ecosystems. An interesting fact; impervious surfaces cover 43,000 square miles in the US alone, roughly equal to the size of Ohio.
Designing and Information Management System for Watersheds
This report by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (1997) looks at the way in which local, state and federal communities can join together to improve the management of watersheds through the implementation of information management systems. This is a concept reflective of the intelligent cities initiative.
The New York High Line
The High Line in New York City is a park on Manhattan’s West Side that represents the greening of old industrial infrastructure. Elevated 30 feet about street level, the High Line is a public park with gardens and walkways which have been redeveloped from old freight train tracks.
Chicago City Hall Green Roof
In 2001 the Chicago City Hall’s 100 year old roof was retrofitted with a green roof. It remains an exemplar of urban green roof retrofitting.
Southeastern Water Wars
This article on government.com focuses on how Atlanta and its surrounding counties might lose their largest water source by 2012.
Links and Sources
Center for Neighborhood Technology Housing and Transportation Index
Americans traditionally consider housing affordable if it costs 30 percent or less of their income. The Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, in contrast, offers the true cost of housing based on its location by measuring the transportation costs associated with place.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Hosts a range of data from this government agency on aging, workplace, obesity and life expectancy.
Community Health Status Indicators
Run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this site provides an overview of key health indicators for local communities and to encourage dialogue about actions that can be taken to improve a community’s health.
The purpose of Data.gov is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. There are thousands and thousands of data sets on this site from across government agencies.
Data Driven Detroit
Data Driven Detroit (D3) provides accessible, high-quality information and analysis to drive informed decision-making to strengthen communities in Southeast Michigan.
Food Environment Atlas
Run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this site explores food and environment factors—such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics—to see how they interact to influence food choices and diet quality.
This website displays a collection of government data on demographics, agriculture, climate and transportation.
Walkshed New York
Walkshed New York uses an advanced methodology to calculate and map walkability in New York City.
Wakshed Philadelphia measures the walkability of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Ranks the walkability of the top 40 cities in the United States.