urban stream restoration

Problems Associated with Urbanization and Stream Function

Anyone walking along a degraded urban stream may see signs of the effects of urban development: heavily eroded stream banks, trash in overhanging tree branches, discarded tires, or remnants of stormwater conveyance infrastructure.  It is obvious that intense alterations to the landscape and water network occur when land is developed.   The most immediate consequences include an increase in impervious surface area with resultant increased runoff to receiving streams, higher peak discharges, greater water export and higher sediment loads during construction.  In terms of stream hydrology, an altered flow regime with high peak flows and reduced baseflow is the prevalent effect of urbanization.