Diffusion of Innovations and Stormwater Management Systems in Eugene, Oregon
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The Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 and the amendments that followed in 1977 and 1987 had a significant impact on how states, and by extension, the cities within those states, manage stormwater as it relates to surface water. The CWA was established as a response to point source pollution and regulates pollutant discharge into U.S. waters. However, even with the implementation of these measures further testing of water quality in the 1990s found that water quality was still being affected by other sources of pollution, namely nonpoint source pollution. Stormwater runoff, a type of nonpoint source, is known to be a major contributor to water degradation. Therefore, stormwater management is an important component in reducing nonpoint source pollution to address water quality and quantity issues as outlined in the Clean Water Act. The federal government, in order to pursue reduction in nonpoint source pollution, is encouraging municipalities to look to their residents to voluntarily adopt measures that help reduce nonpoint source pollution through stormwater management strategies. This pilot study uses Everett Rogers' diffusion of innovation theory to understand why thirteen individuals in Eugene, Oregon reached the decision to adopt stormwater management systems on their properties.