Aug/Sept 2013: Campus Rainworks Challenge

The US Environmental Protection Agency has announced the second annual Campus Rainworks Challenge.

campus rainworks winner

The Illinois Institute of Technology won first prize for the small institution category in 2012. Click to see award-winning designs from last year’s contest.

The contest has been expanded to include Master Plan and Site Design categories, but the premise remains: college and university students are invited to “design an innovative green infrastructure project for their campus showing how managing stormwater at its source can benefit the campus community and the environment.”

Cash prizes are included, along with the opportunity for Site Design winners to apply for grant funding for a demonstration project. Registration opens September 9 and closes October 7, 2013.

Bring HOG to Your School! Our offer to participating student teams: incorporate Rainwater HOG tanks into a winning entry, and we will give you three HOG tanks.

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September 2012: The Case for Fixing America’s Water Infrastructure

The breakdown of water infrastructure in the U.S. is making headlines. Recently, we’ve come across articles with messages that resonate with reports on America’s water crisis posted in our March and April editions.

Want Jobs? Fix America’s Water Crisis

“The most urgent deficit America needs to resolve right now is our job deficit. And fixing our infrastructure — especially the systems that keep our water safe and clean — is one of the best ways we can put people to work,” writes Jeremy Hayes in his recent Huffington Post article, “Want Jobs? Fix America’s Water Crisis.”

Hayes works as the Chief Strategist for State and Local Initiatives at Green For All, a U.S.-based organization “working to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.”

He makes a compelling case for the common sense logic behind fixing the U.S.’s crumbling water infrastructure as a way to boost the economy and create jobs. He goes further to argue that when cities embrace green water infrastructure they can reduce stormwater runoff and pollutants, protect groundwater, improve air quality, and even increase property value.

Water Companies Need to Increase Infrastructure Investment

Meanwhile in Iowa,  the president of the state’s largest investor-owned water utility is making a case for the continued need to maintain and improve a system of aging pipes in his op-ed,  “Water Companies Need to Increase Infrastructure Investment.”

Randy A. Moore, president of Iowa American Water, writes, “The time has come for us as a nation — community by community — to commit to adopting strategies to renew our water infrastructure.”

The approximately $10 million a year that Iowa American Water invests in their water systems helps ensure the continued stability of other infrastructure, such as transportation, roads, homes and businesses.

Echoes Down the Pipe Line

Moore echoes some of the warning from the report on America’s Water Infrastructure Challenge featured in our April 2012 edition. He emphasizes the fact that postponing investment in updating an aging water infrastructure system ultimately increases the expense of repairs.

On a brighter note, Moore also represents, in real-time, some of the solutions suggested by the Financing Sustainable Water Infrastructure highlighted in the March 2012 Whole HOG.  An investor-owned water utility like Iowa American Water relies on private, market-based financing mechanisms that can better support local, customer-supported water solutions.

These local water solutions can improve efficiencies, including green infrastructure, closed-loop systems and water recycling, and, as Hayes suggests, create jobs.

September 2012: Register Now for Campus Rainworks Challenge!

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is now registering student teams for the Campus Rainworks Challenge! The design contest for college and university students raises awareness of green infrastructure alternatives for stormwater management.

Omaha North High School students install two HOG tanks as part of their 2011 school renovation.

To participate, student teams, working with a faculty adviser, must submit design plans for a proposed green infrastructure project on their campus.

Teams must register by October 5 and submit their entries by  December 14, 2012. Winning entries will be selected by the EPA and announced in April 2013.

Our offer to participating student teams: incorporate Rainwater HOG tanks into a winning entry, and we will give you three HOG tanks.

Winning teams will earn a cash prize of $1,500 – $2,500 as well as $8,000 – $11,000 in funds for their faculty adviser to conduct research on green infrastructure.

August 2012: Campus Rainworks Challenge

Omaha North High School students install two HOG tanks as part of their 2011 school renovation.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has launched Campus Rainworks Challenge, a student design contest engineered to raise awareness of green infrastructure alternatives for stormwater management.

Our offer to participating student teams: incorporate Rainwater HOG tanks into a winning entry, and we will give you three HOG tanks.

Registration opens September 4 and ends December 14, 2012. Winning entries will be selected by the EPA and announced in April 2013.

June 2012: Campus Rainworks Challenge

A Green Infrastructure Design Contest for Colleges and Universities

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has launched Campus Rainworks Challenge, a student design contest engineered to raise awareness of green infrastructure alternatives for stormwater management.

Let’s pause a moment before we go into more detail. At HOG, we love this idea! In fact, we’d like to make an offer to participating student teams. Incorporate HOG tanks into a winning entry, and we will give you three HOG tanks.

Student teams, working with a faculty adviser, will submit design plans for a proposed green infrastructure project for their campus. Entries will be judged on:

  • Analysis and Planning
  • Preservation or Restoration of Natural Features
  • Integrated Water Management
  • Soil and Vegetation Management
  • Value to Campus
  • Likelihood of Implementation

And what’s the prize? Winning teams will earn a cash prize of $1,500 – $2,500, as well as $8,000 – $11,000 in funds for their faculty adviser to conduct research on green infrastructure.

Registration opens September 4 and ends December 14, 2012. Winning entries will be selected by EPA and announced in April 2013.

In other words, boys and girls, there’s plenty of time to devise an award-winning, money-making, campus-improving stormwater management plan for your school.

Looking for Inspiration?

An 8-HOG catchment system provides an on-site reserve of water for the Green & Main Pilot Project. Workers install a bioswale in the foreground.

Check out the Green & Main Pilot Project in Des Moines, Iowa. Eight HOG tanks were incorporated into the ambitious greening of a mixed-used commercial building. Their comprehensive
stormwater management plan is part of their bid to achieve LEED Platinum status.