Jumping through time

May 14, 2024

In March, I was fortunate enough to go on a trip to Italy with my family. While there, we spent half a day in Pompeii, and while I learned a lot, the one thing I did not expect to learn so much about while wondering the ruins was stormwater.

Spaced often throughout the middle of what is left of the roads are steppingstones. Our tour guide explained that these steppingstones were used by Pompeiians to cross the streets when the roads were flooded with rainwater.

It is a far cry from the stormwater and drainage systems we have now in terms of flood control, but there was something special about learning how these residents managed it at the time. It speaks to the necessity and longevity of the stormwater industry.

Flood control is always a hot topic in this industry, and there is a sense of camaraderie to know people have been managing flood waters for centuries, and it is inspiring to see how far we have come. This all sounds obvious, of course, as many inventions have come about since the 7th century BC, when historians believe Pompeii was originally founded and built. But walking across the steppingstones seemed symbolic in a way.

I’ll move away from all that nostalgia talk but be sure to check out page 26 for a flood control feature to see how The Charles River Watershed is updating its flood mapping to mitigate climate change risks. Additionally, this issue features articles on using drones in stormwater management and stream restoration efforts, and our special section in this issue is a favorite of mine.

This issue is highlighting our 2024 Class of Young Pros and Industry Icon. This year’s industry icon is Harry Stark, who many in the industry know because of the annual Ohio Stormwater Conference, but his career and influence spans far beyond the conference. Flip to page 8 to learn more about Stark and his impact on the stormwater industry.

And on page 12, I would like to introduce you to this year’s class of young pros. With varying perspectives and career beginnings, these individuals are poised to bring stormwater into the next generation. As always, I hope you enjoy this issue. My email is open for questions and comments.

About the Author

Katie Johns

Katie Johns, editor-in-chief of Storm Water Solutions and Water Quality Products, graduated from the University of Missouri in 2016 with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. Johns joined the Storm Water Solutions team in September 2019. Johns also helps plan the annual StormCon conference and co-hosts the Talking Under Water podcast. Prior to entering the B2B industry, she worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in Sarasota, Florida, and a magazine assistant editor in the Chicago suburbs. She can be reached at [email protected].