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- 5.4 Inventory & Benchmark existing landscape performance
- 2015 Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP)
- 5. Water and Stormwater
Key Objective: 5.4 Inventory & Benchmark existing landscape performance
Another opportunity to increase the sustainability of campus water utilization is to improve the sustainability impacts of campus stormwater management practices. Initial investigations show a strong potential to increase stormwater capture, infiltration, and reuse of stormwater around campus. Various best management practices and green infrastructure systems can promote passive irrigation, and enable additional water conservation at campus facilities.
The campus could complete an inventory and evaluation of existing landscape performance and compare it with high-performance landscapes. This audit would define existing hardscape and softscape surfaces and features, measuring water, carbon, urban heat island, and biotic performance, along with associated maintenance and infrastructure cost. The existing landscapes would be compared with high-performance, sustainable campus landscape alternatives, quantifying economic value and ecosystem services including the following: potential rainwater capture for reuse or infiltration for aquifer recharge, biomass-/biodiversity indexes associated with native (versus turf) landscapes, and economic/environmental benefits of sustainable landscape maintenance (no-mow, no-fertilizer, no-irrigation, etc.). These support recommending a strategic, phased conversion of hardscape surfaces toward pervious/infiltrating surfaces and landscapes designed to capture rainwater, both for re-use and/or infiltration. These recommendations will establish priority sites and opportunities to convert the campus landscape from 'traditional' to 'sustainable.'