Connections of a River - Connectivity
Vertical disconnects (pg 4
The construction of highways, parking lots, and
other large impervious surfaces is often considered
a hydrologic problem, speeding the flow of runoff
into nearby waterways. And it is. But it is also a
vertical disconnect, blocking the flow of
water into the ground, where it would enter
underground aquifers and some would eventually
reach a nearby river.
Precipitation can no longer slowly percolate
through the soil profile to recharge aquifers.
Instead, water is rerouted into storm sewers and
water bodies at higher volumes and faster rates.
Runoff from storm sewers and other urban collectors
carries materials and toxins that pollute the river
with chemicals and nutrients. This, in turn,
impacts dissolved oxygen levels and temperature
regimes that, in turn, disrupt fish and wildlife
habitat and nutrient cycles.