The city of Erie has 44.3 percent impervious surfaces. Asphalt, concrete and rooftops now cover the area. That means water can’t soak naturally into the ground but instead, it rushes across the landscape picking up contaminants and bacteria. This dirty water pollutes waterways and beaches, poisons fish and wildlife and threatens drinking water. The increase in runoff also increases flooding and associated costs. And with little or no vegetation to absorb heat and cool the landscape, a hotter city threatens human health, strains energy resources, and compromises economic productivity. Learn about green infrastructure projects that harvest rain in this week's NIE page.