Flooding in Manville is a serious and worsening issue. While some financial support has been received from the state and federal government, further actions are necessary to reduce flooding. There are steps that individuals can take on their own properties, as well as regional initiatives that can make a difference.
It is important to note that flooding does not respect municipal boundaries and solutions require a collaborative regional approach. Manville residents should join elected officials to pressure other towns to revise their current development patterns. Large, upstream development projects that worsen Manville’s flooding should not continue to get approved. Somerset County and some of its towns have started to look for regional solutions to flooding. It is crucial for officials and developers to hear from Manville residents that the rules must be changed because lives depend on it.
While flooding has regional causes, there are also local sources. The flooding problem in Manville is made worse by the presence of impervious surfaces such as parking lots, roads, and buildings. These surfaces prevent rainwater from being absorbed into the ground. To address this, green infrastructure such as permeable pavement, rain gardens, and wetland restoration can be implemented to increase rain absorption. Green infrastructure is a water management approach that involves restoring, protecting, or imitating the natural water cycle. With more than 70% of Manville being impervious, there are opportunities to incorporate green infrastructure, reduce impervious cover and enhance the town’s ability to withstand intense flooding.
If you are interested in learning more about supporting your community and preventing future flooding disasters in Manville, you are invited to attend a public interest session at October 25th from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Manville Public Library. The session, led by The Watershed Institute, will cover topics such as green infrastructure, flooding, and the potential revival of the Sustainable Manville team.