EPA Launches Campus RainWorks Challenge

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new design competition called the Campus RainWorks Challenge to encourage student teams on college and university campuses across the country to develop innovative approaches to stormwater management. This competition will help raise awareness of green design and planning approaches at colleges and universities, and train the next generation of landscape architects, planners, and engineers in green infrastructure principles and design.  Stormwater is a major cause of water pollution in urban areas in the U.S., impacting tens of thousands of miles of rivers, streams, and coastal shorelines, as well as hundreds of thousands of acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds.

Student teams, working with a faculty advisor, will submit design plans for a proposed green infrastructure project for their campus. Registration for the Campus RainWorks Challenge opens September 4, and entries must be submitted by December 14, 2012 for consideration. Winning entries will be selected by EPA and announced in April 2013.  Winning teams will earn a cash prize of $1,500 – $2,500, as well as $8,000 – $11,000 in funds for their faculty advisor to conduct research on green infrastructure.  In 2013, EPA plans to expand Campus RainWorks by inviting students to design and complete a demonstration project assessing innovative green infrastructure approaches on their campus.

EPA is encouraging the use of green infrastructure as a solution to help manage stormwater runoff. Green Infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater runoff at its source and provide other community benefits. Green infrastructure is increasingly being used to supplement or substitute for single-purpose “gray” infrastructure investments such as pipes, and ponds. The Campus RainWorks Challenge will help encourage the use of green infrastructure projects on college and university campuses to manage stormwater discharges.

For more information on the Campus RainWorks Challenge: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/crw_challenge.cfm