The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday launched its 5th Annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a competition for college and university students to design innovative solutions for our nation’s water infrastructure.
The deadline for registering is September 30.
Using their campuses as labs, teams develop green infrastructure systems to reduce stormwater pollution and build resilience to climate change.
Since 2012, more than 420 student teams have participated in the challenge.
“Stormwater is one of the nation’s most significant water challenges, with increasing amounts of runoff polluting our nation’s streams, rivers and lakes,” said Joel Beauvais, Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “Through the Campus RainWorks Challenge, EPA invites our country’s future planners, designers, and engineers to apply their classroom learning and help us solve stormwater management problems through innovative green infrastructure design and technology.”
The 2016 Challenge winners will be announced in spring 2017.
Each first-place team will earn a student prize of $2,000 and a faculty prize of $3,000 to support green infrastructure research or training. Second-place teams will win $1,000 for student teams and $2,000 for faculty research.
Green infrastructure decreases pollution to local waterways by treating stormwater where it falls and keeping more polluted runoff out of sewer systems.
Green infrastructure features include green roofs, permeable materials, green streets, rain gardens and rain harvesting systems. Communities are increasingly using green infrastructure to supplement their “gray” infrastructure such as pipes, filters and ponds.
Green infrastructure can create vibrant communities by increasing economic activity, neighborhood revitalization, job creation and open space.
It also strengthens a community’s resiliency to the impacts of climate change by reducing the burden on local water infrastructure, managing local flooding, reducing urban heat islands and lowering energy demands.For more information, visit EPA’s Campus RainWorks Challenge webpage.