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On the Development of a Sustainable Stormwater Management System
To achieve independent thinking, an opportunity to think creatively on a real world problem was introduced to students in a water resources engineering course. The process in this case is how the occurrence of hurricanes regularly affects various coastal regions. The students were expected to demonstrate a learning process consisting of the discussion, examination, elaboration and fulfillment of an action plan. This paper describes the development of a sustainable stormwater management system that aims to reduce a hurricane’s impact, assigned as a student term project in a Water Resources Engineering course in the undergraduate civil engineering program at our institution. The design was applied to study the protection of agricultural fields during tropical storms in the state of Florida. It consisted of three components: shelterbelt, built-up earth mound and drainage system. Students used many sources for retrieving the information and developed original thoughts to solve the problem. Students were expected to provide a solution to stormwater management, applying such concepts as water resources sustainability, surface runoff, stream flow routing, and stormwater control. This design helped in simulating the effect of rainfall intensity on surface runoff and percolation rate while measuring the mitigation of stormwater damages. Students routinely presented their findings in the class, thereby enhancing their professional skills in using simulation and problem-solving tools. These students were regularly evaluated, reviewed and given the feedback on their progress in brainstorm sessions. By the end of the project the students presented a report that detailed their thoughts on stormwater management for real life situations.