Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2014


John Van Buren



Beneath the great metropolis known as New York City, underlies an intricate system of water networks linking all of New York City’s five boroughs. In the same manner that veins function as vessels for the transportation of blood in the circulatory system, NYC’s water system interconnects all of the diverse communities found at multiple levels of society within the city. Regardless of origin or background, today all NYC residents and visitors share NYC’s tap water as a natural resource without fearing water scarcity tomorrow. However, as the estimated population in New York City is expected to rise above 9 million residents within the next 30 years, the city needs to address water quality and availability in order to meet the demands of its growing population. The use of “green infrastructure” to improve water quality is an applicable solution for city agencies such as the Department of Environmental Protection, responsible for the management of the city’s precious resource. Green infrastructure simply refers to “storm water management systems that mimic nature by soaking up and storing water;”[1] green infrastructure systems manage storm water through infiltration, evapotranspiration, reuse, and detention. Types of green infrastructure including vegetated swales, green roofs, rain gardens, pervious surfaces, and pocket wetlands can be effective in the capture of storm water and the reduction of runoff found in urban environments like NYC.

[1] "What Is Green Infrastructure?" Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2014.>.