With the start of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season on the minds of many Floridians, southwest Florida community Babcock Ranch recently highlighted its “Resilient by Design” approach to continued community development. Babcock Ranch founder Syd Kitson delivered comments on his strategic vision while National Stormwater Trust was there to highlight our continued efforts to deliver Smart Pond technology to this visionary resilient community.
One community in Charlotte County, Babcock Ranch, was mostly unharmed by the flooding, protected in part by smart stormwater management technology that has changed the way stormwater is managed. Thanks to real-time flood forecasting capability of existing NST Smart Ponds, Babcock Ranch water managers and leaders had assurance that its large lakes had adequate storage to contain Hurricane Ian’s stormwater and protect the community’s homes, roadways and school.
Building on the resiliency success of Smart Pond technology at Babcock Ranch, the community is now doubling down on its smart stormwater management by installing additional Smart Ponds, and incorporating the technological functionality allowing water managers, in coordination with the water management district, to proactively lower lake water levels in advance of a large storm. These remotely-operable stations will benefit both Babcock Ranch and neighboring communities by expanding flood water storage capacity to capture even more runoff from larger storms.
“Until last September, we were known as America’s first solar-powered town. But then came Hurricane Ian, and our focus shifted from renewable energy and sustainability to resiliency,” said Kitson. “Ian put all that preparation, all that hard work and planning, everything, to the ultimate test. Our latest efforts to further fortify the community are a testament to our incredible team of partners that has factored storm safety into every element of the community to ensure our residents’ safety.”
While the primary focus for National Stormwater Trust is on improving water quality, when a storm the size of Hurricane Ian threatens Florida, their objective shifts to protecting communities and the environment from the flooding impacts of stormwater.
National Stormwater Trust is proud to be a partner with Babcock Ranch.