How We Manage Storms: Stormwater Management in Baltimore City

The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance (BNIA) has a great interactive resource for analyzing various data across Baltimore neighborhoods. I spent a brief amount of time looking over this to see what correlations I could pull from this resource when it comes to environmental issues in the city and found a few things that are interesting. The one I want to point out here deals with stormwater management. Baltimore has had many problems with flooding in recent years so I wanted to look into what kind of data we have on where the floods happen and how that relates to resources the city has in place for dealing with these issues.

Disclaimer: This is a very quick look at a third party resource. The conclusions we can draw from this map view are purely speculative and there are many issues outside of this post that would need to be taken into consideration before looking at the accuracy of this data.

The image below is comparing two things:

1. Green layer. The rate of clogged storm drains per 1,000 residents.
2. Red & Blue Dots. Stormwater management sites.


The darker green areas on the map are where there are more complaints about clogged storm drains. At a quick glance at this map it appears that, in the majority of green segments, there is a correlation between the number of storm water management sites and the number of complaints about clogged storm drains. Although the Northeast inner city becomes a little muddled when making this correlation, the eastern area of Baltimore, where there are little-to-none storm water management sites, is obviously darker on average than the other areas.

To be able to see this a little better, I’ve made two images, one with the darker green areas cut out and one with the lighter green areas cut out.



In conclusion, I think the information that can be drawn from this quick analysis is something that would need to be looked into deeper to know how these two things relate. It would be interesting to learn about the factors that go into deciding where to put stormwater management systems and how they actually affect clogged storm drains. It is important to mention how great is is we have this data to look at for Baltimore and many other cities in the United States. Although data itself cannot provide any solutions, the meaning we draw from it can with time and research.

Author: Brent Hoffmann

Brent has a diverse background in graphic design, software development, and business strategy. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, he helps clients find solutions to technology problems, develop their content strategy and find ways to help them grow.

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