Irrigating Urban Agriculture with Harvested Rainwater: Case Study in Roanoke, Virginia, USA

  • Tammy E. Parece
  • Malayshia Lumpkin
  • James B. Campbell
Chapter

Abstract

Considered at the global scale, urbanization forms the principal source of landscape change. Worldwide, urban areas are increasing in size, both in land area and in population, causing losses of vegetated lands, increases in impervious surface cover, and increased demands on existing infrastructure and upon municipal services such as water and waste management. Urbanization, by reducing vegetative cover and increasing impervious surfaces, alters hydrologic cycles by reducing infiltration, increasing runoff volume and rates, lowering groundwater tables, decreasing evapotranspiration, and creating precipitation anomalies. Urban greenspaces are recognized as providing environmental benefits, including reduced stormwater runoff, increased evapotranspiration, and increased subsurface infiltration, which, in turn, raise groundwater tables. Urban agriculture forms a greenspace that can provide these environmental benefits, among others, in addition to contributing to food security for local populations. This chapter provides an overview of urban agriculture and its potential benefits. Then, we provide a case study based upon the City of Roanoke, Virginia, USA. We identify areas of existing urban agriculture using aerial imagery. We discuss land available for potential new urban agricultural sites. From aerial images and city geospatial data, we identify and calculate roof areas that can be used to capture rainwater. Then using precipitation data and equations identified from the literature, we calculated amounts of rainwater that could be harvested to provide irrigation water for these locations. Finally, we discuss reductions that could occur in stormwater runoff and greenhouse gas emissions if harvested rainwater were used instead of municipal water supplies. Additionally, we discuss future research areas for urban agriculture and rainwater harvesting.

Keywords

Community gardens Greenhouse gas emissions Rainwater harvesting Roanoke, Virginia, USA Urban agriculture 

References

  1. 1.
    Hooke RL, Martin-Duque JF (2012) Land transformation by humans: a review. GSA Today 22(12):4–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Knigge L (2012) Urban regions and localized food systems: 21st century innovations. In: Stoltman J (ed) 21st century geography: a reference handbook. Sage, Los Angeles, pp 563–573CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Younos T, Parece TE (2012) Water use and conservation. In: Stoltman J (ed) 21st century geography: a reference handbook. Sage, Los Angeles, pp 447–456Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    United Nations (2015) World population prospects: the 2015 revision. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    United Nations (2014) World urbanization prospects: the 2014 revision. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    World Bank (2013) Urban agriculture: findings from four city case studies. World Bank, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Deelstra T, Girardet H (2000) Urban agriculture and sustainable cities. In: Bakker N et al (eds) Growing cities, growing food: urban agriculture on the policy agenda, a reader on urban agriculture. Deutsche Stiftung für Internationale Entwicklung, Zentralstelle für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft, Feldafing, pp 43–66Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pickett STA et al (2001) Urban ecological systems: linking terrestrial ecological, physical, and socioeconomic components of metropolitan areas. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 32:127–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lincoln Land Institute (2015) Atlas of urban expansion. http://www.lincolninst.edu/subcenters/atlas-urban-expansion/. Accessed 19 July 2015
  10. 10.
    Gallagher J (2010) Reimagining Detroit: opportunities for redefining an American city. Wayne State University Press, DetroitGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    McGranahan G, Satterthwaite D (2003) Urban centers: an assessment of sustainability. Annu Rev Environ Resour 28:243–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Aitkenhead-Peterson JA, Steele MK, Volder A (2010) Services in natural and human dominated ecosystems. In: Aitkenhead-Peterson J, Volder A (eds) Urban ecosystem ecology. American Society of Agronomy: Crop Science Society of America: Soil Science Society of America, Madison, pp 199–226Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Despommier DD (2010) The vertical farm. Thomas Dunne Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Goldstein M et al (2011) Urban agriculture: a sixteen city survey of urban agriculture practices across the country. Emory Law, Turner Environmental Law Clinic, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mansfield B, Mendes W (2013) Municipal food strategies and integrated approaches to urban agriculture: exploring three cases from the Global North. Intl Plan Stud 18(1):37–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    McClintock N (2014) A survey of urban agriculture organizations and businesses in the US and Canada: preliminary results. Urban studies and planning faculty publications and presentations, Portland State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Huang D, Drescher M (2015) Urban crops and livestock: the experiences, challenges, and opportunities of planning for urban agriculture in two Canadian provinces. Land Use Policy 42:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    US EPA (2015) What is an open area/green space? http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/uep/openspace.html. Accessed 7 Feb 2015
  19. 19.
    Wheater CP (1999) Urban habitats. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nowak DJ (2006) Institutionalizing urban forestry as a “biotechnology” to improve environmental quality. Urban For Urban Green 5:93–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Beer AR (2010) Greenspaces, green structure and green infrastructure planning. In: Aitkenhead-Peterson J, Volder A (eds) Urban ecosystem ecology. American Society of Agronomy: Crop Science Society of America: Soil Science Society of America, Madison, pp 431–448Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kuo FE (2010) Parks and other green environments: components of a healthy human habitat. National Parks and Recreation Association, AshburnGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Volder A, Watson WT (2010) Urban forestry. In: Aitkenhead-Peterson J, Volder A (eds) Urban ecosystem ecology. American Society of Agronomy: Crop Science Society of America: Soil Science Society of America, Madison, pp 227–240Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bolund P, Hunhammar S (1999) Ecosystem services in urban areas. Ecol Econ 29:293–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    van Leeuwen E, Nijkamp P, de Noronha VT (2010) The multifunctional use of urban greenspace. Intl J Agric Sustain 8(1/2):20–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lin BB, Philpott SM, Jha S (2015) The future of urban agriculture and biodiversity-ecosystem services: challenges and next steps. Basic Appl Ecol 16(3):189–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Botkin DB, Beveridge CE (1997) Cities as environments. Urban Ecosys 1(1):3–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Aitkenhead-Peterson J, Volder A (2010) Urban ecosystem ecology. American Society of Agronomy: Crop Science Society of America: Soil Science Society of America, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Fisher M (2015) Reducing stormwater runoff with green infrastructure. Soil Horizo doi:10.2136/sh2015-56-2-f
  30. 30.
    Lee G, Lee H, Lee J (2015) Greenhouse gas emission reduction effect in the transportation sector by urban agriculture in Seoul, Korea. Landsc Urban Plan 140:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Moore SA et al (2015) School gardens as sites for forging progressive socioecological futures. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 105(2):407–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Mougeot LJA (2006) Growing better cities: urban agriculture for sustainable development. Internationale Development Research Centre, OttawaGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Smit J, Nasr J, Ratta A (2001) Urban agriculture: food, jobs and sustainable cities. The Urban Agriculture Network, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
  35. 35.
    Mok H et al (2014) Strawberry field forever? Urban agriculture in developed countries: a review. Agron Sustain Dev 34:21–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    White SA (2014) Cultivating the city: exploring the production of place and people through urban agriculture. Three studies from M'Bour, Senegal. PhD dissertation, Michigan State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Wade I (1987) Community food production in cities of the developing countries. Food Nutr Bull 9(2):29–36Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Gittleman M, Jordan K, Brelsford E (2012) Using citizen science to quantify community garden crop yields. Cities Environ 5(1), Article 4Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Yadav P, Duckworth K, Grewal PS (2012) Habitat structure influences below ground biocontrol services: a comparison between urban gardens and vacant lots. Landsc Urban Plan 104(2):238–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Li L et al (2013) Eco-vegetation construction of the community gardens in US and its implications. Asian Agric Res 5(7):92–96Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Taylor JR, Lovell ST (2015) Urban home gardens in the global North: a mixed methods study of ethnic and migrant home gardens in Chicago, IL. Renewable Agric Food Syst 30(01):22–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Lawson LJ (2005) City bountiful: a century of community gardening in America. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Nordahl D (2009) Public produce: the new urban agriculture. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Iaquinta DL, Drescher AW (2010) Urban agriculture: a comparative review of allotment and community gardens. In: Aitkenhead-Peterson J, Volder A (eds) Urban ecosystem ecology. American Society of Agronomy: Crop Science Society of America: Soil Science Society of America, Madison, pp 199–226Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Patel IC (1996) Rutgers urban gardening a case study in urban agriculture. J Agric Food Info 3(3):35–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    FAO, IFAD, WFP (2014) State of food insecurity in the world. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Brown KH et al. (2002) Urban agriculture and community food security in the United States: farming from the city center to the urban fringe. http://ocfoodaccess.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Urban-Agriculture-Food-Security_CFSC-2002.pdf
  48. 48.
    Coleman-Jensen A, et al (2011) Household food security in the United States in 2010. USDA food assistance and nutrition research program. http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err125.aspx
  49. 49.
    FAO (2007) The urban producer’s resource book. Food and Agriculture Organization, RomeGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    FAO (2015) Urban agriculture. http://www.fao.org/urban-agriculture/en/
  51. 51.
    FAO (2010) Fighting poverty and hunger: what role for urban agriculture? economic and social perspectives. Economic and Social Development Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Ward JD, et al (2014) The urban agriculture revolution: implications for water use in cities. Water February:69–74Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Pearson L, Pearson L, Pearson C (2010) Sustainable urban agriculture: stocktake and opportunities. Intl J Agric Sustain 8(1/2):7–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Drescher AW, Holmer RJ, Iaquinta DL (2006) Urban home gardens and allotment gardens for sustainable livelihoods: management strategies and institutional environments. In: Kumar BM, Nair PKR (eds) Tropical home gardens: a time-tested example of sustainable agroforestry. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 317–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Parece TE, Campbell JB A survey of urban gardeners. In: WinklerPrins A (ed) Global urban agriculture: convergence of theory and practice between North and South. CABI (Under Review)Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Smit J, Nasr J (1992) Urban agriculture for sustainable cities: using wastes and idle land and water bodies as resources. Environ Urban 4:141–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Wortman SE, Lovell ST (2014) Environmental challenges threatening the growth of urban agriculture in the United States. J Environ Qual 42:1283–1294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    FAO (2011) Food, agriculture and cities: the challenges of food and nutrition security, agriculture and ecosystem management in an urbanizing world. Food for the cities multi-disciplinary initiative position paper. http://www.fao.org/3/a-au725e.pdf
  59. 59.
    Lupia F, Pulighe G (2015) Water use and urban agriculture: estimation and water saving scenarios for residential kitchen gardens. Agric Agric Sci Procedia 4:50–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Redwood M, Bouraoui M, Houmane B (2014) Rainwater and grey water harvesting for urban food security in La Soukra, Tunisia. Int J Water Resour Dev 30(2):293–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Richards PJ et al (2015) Vegetable rain gardens can produce food and reduce stormwater runoff. Urban For Urban Green 14(3):646–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Scheyer JM, Hipple KW (2005) Urban soils primer. USDA National Resource Conservation Service National Soils Survey Center, LincolnGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Toronto Public Health (2011) Assessing urban impacted soils for urban gardening: decision support tool – technical report and rationale. Toronto Public Health, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    US EPA (2011) Brownfields and urban agriculture: interim guidelines for safe gardening practices. US EPA, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Angelone M, Udovic M (2014) Potentially harmful elements in urban soils. In: Bini C, Bech J (eds) PHEs, environment and human health. Springer, London, pp 221–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    LaCroix CJ (2014) Urban agriculture and the environment. The Urban Lawyer 46(2):227–242Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    US Census (2015) Quick facts. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/51/51770.html. Accessed 29 May 2015
  68. 68.
    Pugh J (2010) A report on the city of Roanoke’s existing and possible urban tree canopy. Virginia Department of Forestry, CharlottesvilleGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Roanoke (2013) City of Roanoke 2012 Municipal Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and energy summary, Roanoke, Virginia. http://www.roanokeva.gov/85256A8D0062AF37/vwContentByKey/6860F1A26A2F32E585257C4E006D498D/$File/Municipal2012.pdf
  70. 70.
    Virginia (2010) Department of environmental quality: GIS data sets. http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/VEGIS/VEGISDatasets.aspx
  71. 71.
    McEvoy M (2015) Executive director/wastewater services Western Virginia water authority, Personal CommunicationGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    American Electric Power Company Inc (2014) 2014 Fact book, 49th EEI financial conference, Dallas https://www.aep.com/investors/EventsPresentationsAndWebcasts/documents/2014Factbook.pdf
  73. 73.
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (2015) Daily climate data. http://www.erh.noaa.gov/rnk/climate/f6/html/F6.html#ROA. Accessed 19 June 2015
  74. 74.
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (2015) Recent temperature and precipitation graphs for Roanoke, Virginia. http://www.weather.gov/rnk/climatePlotsRoa. Accessed 19 June 2015
  75. 75.
    Ress D (2013) Roanoke natural food co-op farm fits in at industry park. Roanoke Times, Roanoke, 9 June 2013Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Powell M (2015) Director, Roanoke community garden association, Personal CommunicationGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Parece TE, Campbell JB, Serrano E (Pending Publication) Strategically siting urban agriculture: A socio-economic analysis of Roanoke, Virginia. Prof GeogGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Parece TE, Campbell JB (Pending Publication 2017) Geospatial evaluation for urban agriculture land inventory, Roanoke Virginia USA. Intl J Applied Geospatial Res 8(1)Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Younos T, et al (2009) Conventional and decentralized water supply infrastructure: energy consumption and carbon footprint. American Water Resources Association 2009 Spring specialty conference, Anchorage, AlaskaGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Kloss C (2008) Managing wet weather with green infrastructure: municipal handbook: rainwater harvesting policies. US EPA, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    Virginia (2011) Virginia base mapping program. http://gisvirginia.blogspot.com/2011/03/vbmp-2011-update-march-10. Accessed 1 Jan 2015
  82. 82.
    Western Virginia Water Authority (2015) Water quality report. http://www.westernvawater.org/WebMgmt/ywbase61b.nsf/vwContentByKey/N2628RTH805PLESEN. Accessed 17 June 2015
  83. 83.
    Geiger R, Aron RH, Todhunter P (2003) The climate near the ground, 6th edn. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham MarylandGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tammy E. Parece
    • 1
  • Malayshia Lumpkin
    • 1
  • James B. Campbell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

Personalised recommendations