MADISON, Wis. — The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout the International Year of Soil 2015 (IYS) to educate the public about the importance of soil, and April’s theme is “Soils Clean and Capture Water,” according to a press release.

In a recent SSSA Soils Matter blog post, experts explain why communities are using more stormwater management solutions, stated the release.

As towns grow into cities, informs soil scientist and professor at Kansas State University, Gary Pierzynski, more of the Earth’s surface is covered with impervious materials, creating a need for systems to manage the runoff, continued the release.

“Consider a highly urbanized area that might have more than 95 percent of the area covered by buildings or pavement,” said Pierzynski. “These surfaces essentially absorb nothing [and all] the rainfall becomes surface runoff. The amounts can be significant.”

A standard city block, reported the release, creates around 300,000 gallons of surface runoff from one inch of rain if no rain enters the soil, and under-designed stormwater systems during times of heavy precipitation contribute to urban flooding.

Newer developments can correct previous mistakes, such as concrete-lined channels to prevent erosion at high flows and pumping states to keep water moving if the natural landscape does not provide gravity flow, noted the release.

You can find the blog post here.

You can learn more information on the IYS here.