This overview of research findings presented at the conference on urban drainage and highway runoff in cold climates starts with generation of urban runoff and snowmelt, followed by snowmelt and winter runoff quality, best management practices for urban snowmelt and winter runoff, and snow management in urban areas. Research on the urban hydrological cycle is lagging behind the needs in this field, particularly in terms of data availability. The current studies of winter urban runoff quality focus on road salts in the urban environment and their environmental effects. The needs for better source controls in salt applications, improved management of chloride-laden runoff, and selective adoption of environmentally safer alternative de-icers were reported. Adaptation of the conventional stormwater best management practices (BMPs) for winter operation remains a challenge. The first step in refining the existing BMPs for winter operation is to advance the understanding of their operation, as reported for some cases at the conference. Finally, snow management in urban areas may require local storage of fresh (unpolluted) snow and disposal of more polluted snow at central snow disposal sites.

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