Waterwise Wednesday: Urban Heat Island

Ever notice how downtown is warmer than a park on hot summer day? That’s the heat island effect. Heat reflects off of concrete, buildings, pavement, and streets causing the immediate air temperature to rise as much as ten degrees.

Trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, and ground cover plants shade surfaces and evapotranspire (water emitted from leaves is evaporated). These processes cool the surrounding air. Hence, the cooling effect of a park or greenspace.

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POCKET WETLANDS

Pocket Wetland

Pocket wetlands in urban areas filter, clean, and store water from multiple sources. They’re a place for rain and snow/ice melt to drain to. Wetlands act like sponges by holding flood waters and keeping rivers at normal levels. Multiple types of designs for pocket wetlands exist, with the volume, dry storage, and pond depth being the deciding differences. For more information on pocket wetlands please visit www.werf.org