Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Charles Driscoll


BMP design, causal inference, green infrastructure, stormwater runoff, water quality


Applications of green infrastructure to stormwater management continue to increase in urban landscapes. There are numerous studies of individual stormwater management sites, but few meta-analyses that synthesize and explore design variables for stormwater control structures within a robust statistical framework. The lack of a standardized framework is due to the complexity of stormwater infrastructure designs. Locally customized designs fit to meet diverse site conditions create datasets that become messy, non-uniform, and difficult to analyze across multiple sites. In this dissertation, I first examine how hydrologic processes govern the function of various stormwater infrastructure technologies using water budget data from published literature. The hydrologic observations are displayed on a Water Budget Triangle---a ternary plot tool developed to visualize simplified water budgets---to enable direct functional comparisons of green and grey approaches to stormwater management. The findings are used to generate a suite of observable site characteristics, which are then mapped to a set of stormwater control and treatment sites reported in the International Stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) database. These mapped site characteristics provide site context for the runoff and water quality observations present in the database. Drawing from these contextual observations of design variables, I next examine the functional design of different stormwater management technologies by quantifying the differences among varied structural features, and comparing their causal effects on hydrologic and water quality performance. This stormwater toolbox provides a framework for comparison of the overall performance of different system types to understand causal implications of stormwater design.


Open Access