oEPA Environmental Protection
Environmental Protection
Agency	Pueblo de Cochiti
Cochiti, NM
Pueblo de Cochiti Green Infrastructure Concept
Improving Stormwater Management and Water Quality in the Community
while Preserving Cultural History
EPA 832-R-16-008

About the Green Infrastructure Technical Assistance Program
Stormwater runoff is a major cause of water pollution in urban areas. When rain falls in undeveloped
areas, soil and plants absorb and filter the water. When rain falls on our roofs, streets, and parking lots,
however, the water cannot soak into the ground. In most urban areas, stormwater is drained through
engineered collection systems and discharged into nearby water bodies. The stormwater carries trash,
bacteria, heavy metals, and other pollutants from the urban landscape, polluting the receiving waters.
Higher flows also can cause erosion and flooding in urban streams, damaging habitat, property, and
Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage water and create healthier
urban environments. At the scale of a city or county, green infrastructure refers to the patchwork of
natural areas that provides habitat, flood protection, cleaner air, and cleaner water. At the scale of a
neighborhood or site, green infrastructure refers to stormwater management systems that mimic nature
by soaking up and storing water. Green infrastructure can be a cost-effective approach for improving
water quality and helping communities stretch their infrastructure investments further by providing
multiple environmental, economic, and community benefits. This multibenefit approach creates
sustainable and resilient water infrastructure that supports and revitalizes urban communities.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages communities to use green infrastructure to
help manage stormwater runoff, reduce sewer overflows, and improve water quality. EPA recognizes
the value of working collaboratively with communities to support broader adoption of green
infrastructure approaches. Technical assistance is a key component to accelerating the implementation
of green infrastructure across the nation and aligns with EPA's commitment to provide community-
focused outreach and support in the President's Priority Agenda Enhancing the Climate Resilience of
America's Natural Resources. Creating more resilient systems will become increasingly important in the
face of climate change. As more intense weather events or dwindling water supplies stress the
performance of the nation's water infrastructure, green infrastructure offers an approach to increase
resiliency and adaptability.
For more information, visit http://www.eoa.aov/areeninfrastructure.

Principal EPA Staff
Jamie Piziali, USEPA
Christopher Kloss, USEPA
Community Team
Merrill Yazzie, Pueblo de Cochiti
Kevin Lewis, Pueblo de Cochiti
Ryan Weiss, Pueblo de Cochiti
Consultant Team
Jonathan Smith, Tetra Tech
Kristen Dors, Tetra Tech
Martina Frey, Tetra Tech
Kelly Meadows, Tetra Tech
Alex Porteous, Tetra Tech
Adam Orndorff, Tetra Tech
Maureen Harris, Tetra Tech
This report was developed under EPA Contract No. EP-C-11-009 as part of the 2014 EPA Green
Infrastructure Technical Assistance Program.
Cover illustration by Tetra Tech.

1	Executive Summary	1
2	Introduction	2
2.1	Water Quality Issues and Goals	3
2.2	Project Overview and Goals	4
2.3	Project Benefits	4
2.4	Local Challenges	5
3	Site Conditions	5
3.1	Cochiti Plaza	5
3.2	Turquoise Street	7
3.3	Robin Street	10
4	Design Approach	12
4.1	Stormwater Standards	12
4.2	Soil Conditions	13
4.3	Community Charrette	14
4.4	Stormwater Toolbox	16
4.4.1	Rain Gardens	16
4.4.2	Green Street	17
4.4.3	Cisterns and Rain Barrels	18
4.4.4	Vegetation Selection	20
5	Concept Design	21
5.1	Cochiti Plaza	21
5.2	Turquoise Street	25
5.3	Robin Street	28
5.3.1	Residential Green Infrastructure Solutions	28
5.3.2	Roadway Green Infrastructure Solutions	29
6	Conclusion	29
7	References	30
Appendix A: Turquoise Street Concept Design	31

Figure 2-1. Regional map showing location of Pueblo de Cochiti, New Mexico	2
Figure 2-2. The Pueblo sits along the Rio Grande	3
Figure 3-1. Runoff collected in Plaza center	6
Figure 3-2. Rooftop runoff results in scour along building foundations	7
Figure 3-3. Existing conditions on Turquoise Street	8
Figure 3-4. Erosion near the intersection of Turquoise and Plaza Streets	9
Figure 3-5. Stormwater impacts downslope of the Pueblo	10
Figure 3-6. Deposited sediment from upland areas often plugs infiltration basin inlets	11
Figure 3-7. Residences, landscaping, and road conditions on Robin Street	11
Figure 3-8. Example of stormwater erosion on Robin Street	12
Figure 4-1. Student sketch of raingarden in Pueblo setting	14
Figure 4-2. Student sketch of roadside swale	14
Figure 4-3. View of Cochiti Street, including the heavy infrastructure features that Pueblo members
expressed a desire to avoid	15
Figure 4-4. Typical rain garden design	17
Figure 4-5. Example green street design incorporating curb cuts leading to roadside infiltration swales. 18
Figure 4-6. Decorative cistern	19
Figure 4-7. Example rain barrel installations	19
Figure 4-8. Growth of Greenthread, a native plant used for tea in Pueblo de Cochiti	20
Figure 4-9. Rocky Mountain Bee Plant observed in the community	21
Figure 5-1. Photos illustrating scour and erosion at adobe foundations under a canales	22
Figure 5-2. Rain garden schematic	23
Figure 5-3. An artist's rendering of a rain garden incorporating an adobe retaining wall	24
Figure 5-4. Top, view of Turquoise Street near Pueblo Route 85 facing southeast; bottom, artist's
rendering of green street design	26
Figure 5-5. Proposed green street concept design cross section for Turquoise Street	27
Figure 5-6. Desirable landscaping elements at a Robin Street home	28
Table 5-1 Rain garden sizing guide to retain 0.6-inch storm	25
Table 5-2. Summary of infiltration swale geometry and retention volume for Turquoise Street design .. 27

! Executive Summary
Pueblo de Cochiti is a federally recognized Native American tribal entity located 55 miles north of
Albuquerque, New Mexico, along the Rio Grande, that lies within 53,779 acres of reservation land.
Cochiti is located in the heart of the tribe's traditional homeland with a strong desire to preserve the
community's culture and traditions.
Unfortunately, the community faces significant water quality problems. Monitoring indicates that water
quality issues occur in areas both upstream and downstream from Cochiti and include both point and
nonpoint sources of pollution. Cochiti has experienced catastrophic flooding resulting from the loss of
vegetation due to recent wildfire activities as well as localized flooding and erosion scour from excessive
stormwater runoff. In addition, there has been an increase in total impervious area and an overall
reduction in native vegetation.
As part of EPA's Green Infrastructure Technical Assistance Program, green infrastructure conceptual
designs were developed working with the Pueblo leaders and community members to address these
water quality issues. The conceptual designs will serve to introduce green infrastructure practices to the
tribal community. The project will provide evidence of the feasibility and functionality of green
infrastructure practices in areas with an arid climate and limited regulation of stormwater management.
Cochiti hopes that through the implementation of green infrastructure practices, they will be able to
better manage stormwater in low areas, especially the central Plaza, and reduce runoff throughout
other areas where flooding and erosion have been problematic. Using green infrastructure principles
and techniques also can reduce contributions of pollutants from Cochiti's impervious areas to the Rio
Finding the balance between encouraging appropriate green infrastructure approaches and respecting
the traditions and culture of Cochiti was of primary importance in the development of the concept
designs. The project had three main objectives:
•	Develop a green street design that can be applied to several upcoming road rehabilitation
projects, including Turquoise Street and Roadrunner Road.
•	Develop a design that incorporates green infrastructure features into the Cochiti Plaza area, the
central gathering place for the Pueblo.
•	Identify green infrastructure solutions to address poor drainage and erosion issues in a newer
residential neighborhood.
This project has the support of the Pueblo leadership, staff, and community members and will provide a
vision for integrating cultural and traditional knowledge with green infrastructure practices. Support
was gained by involving the community in the design process through activities including a charrette
presentation at the Pueblo with students in the native language program and a multigenerational group
of community members. Together the groups contributed to the discussion and provided direct input
for the designs.
The conceptual designs in the report include the development of rain gardens, a green street, and the
use of cisterns to manage stormwater runoff. The selection of vegetation prioritized native and
historically significant plants. An emphasis was put on using materials that are locally available and
community approved. The recommendations and conceptual designs included in this report incorporate

the input of the Pueblo leadership and community members to provide practical and realistic green
infrastructure approaches tailored to the needs of this culturally rich Desert Southwest community.
2 Introduction
Pueblo de Cochiti is a federally recognized Native American tribal entity that was added to the New
Mexico Register of Cultural Properties in 1972 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Cochiti is located 55 miles north of Albuquerque along the Rio Grande and lies within 53,779 acres of
reservation land. According to the 2010 Census, the population of Cochiti is 528, with 95.1 percent being
American Indian. Principal land uses include farming, livestock, recreation, housing, and administration
facilities. Figure 2-1 shows an aerial view of Cochiti and the surrounding lands.
Source: Google Maps
Figure 2-1. Regional map showing location of Pueblo de Cochiti, New Mexico.
As a sovereign nation, Cochiti has a centuries-old, traditional form of government. The people of Cochiti
continue to speak their native language of Keres. They maintain their cultural practices and have
instituted programs dedicated to teaching and educating the younger generation about Pueblo
traditions, cultural practices, and the native language. Like the other Pueblo communities in the Desert
Southwest, Cochiti celebrates an annual feast day on July 14 associated with the patron saint of the
community, San Buenaventura.
Of primary importance to Pueblo de Cochiti are the natural resources (land, air, and water) on the
reservation, which is the lifeline of Pueblo traditions and culture. The Pueblo is located in the heart of

the tribe's traditional homeland and maintaining the environmental quality there is critical to preserving
the community's culture and traditions.
2.1 Water Quality Issues and Goals
Pueblo de Cochiti lies within the Rio Grande watershed—at the bottom of the Upper Rio Grande
watershed and the top of the Middle Rio Grande watershed, with Cochiti Reservoir serving as the
transition point between the two (see Figure 2-2). The Pueblo monitors water quality on Pueblo lands,
but also faces water quality issues in both upstream and downstream areas. The New Mexico
Environment Department completed stream assessments in both the Upper and Middle Rio Grande
watersheds and concluded that the designated uses of the Rio Grande are not being attained.
Impairments in the Upper and Middle Rio Grande watersheds include E. coli bacteria, gross alpha
(adjusted), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in fish tissue and in the water column, turbidity, acute
aquatic toxicity, and dissolved oxygen. Sources of these impairments include both point and nonpoint
sources, such as runoff. The state prepared a total maximum daily load (TMDL) document in 2010
(WQCC 2010).
Photo credit: Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 2-2. The Pueblo sits along the Rio Grande.
In recent years, the Pueblo also has experienced catastrophic flooding. This is due in part to the Las
Conchas wildfire that burned over 150,000 acres of forest in the Jemez Mountains during the summer of
2011, including a large area in the upper watershed of Peralta Creek. With the upland vegetation

removed, precipitation is much less likely to infiltrate the soils and instead quickly runs off to downslope
areas. The Pueblo's reservation lands are located at the terminus of the watershed, and most of the
Pueblo's population and economic activities are concentrated along the creek near its confluence with
the Rio Grande (USACE 2012).
Subsequent severe storms have caused increased stormwater runoff, resulting in floods at the Pueblo
from postfire conditions in the upper areas of the watershed.
Within the Pueblo, historic architecture and construction practices have yielded to more modern
building materials and methods in recent decades. This has resulted in an increase in total impervious
area and coincided with an overall reduction in vegetation, as once-common native tree and plant
species have died off. In some locations, less desirable invasive species such as Russian olive and Chinese
elm have replaced native species. As a result, the Pueblo has experienced an increase in localized
flooding and erosion scour from excessive stormwater runoff.
The people of the Pueblo hope that through the implementation of green infrastructure practices, they
can better manage stormwater within low areas such as the central Plaza and reduce runoff throughout
other areas where flooding and erosion have been problematic. The application of green infrastructure
principles and techniques also can reduce the transfer of pollutants from the Pueblo's impervious areas
to the Rio Grande.
This project had three main objectives:
•	Develop a green street design that can be applied to several upcoming road rehabilitation
projects, including Turquoise Street and Roadrunner Road.
•	Develop a design that incorporates green infrastructure features into the Cochiti Plaza area, the
central gathering place for the Pueblo.
•	Identify green infrastructure solutions to address poor drainage and erosion issues in a newer
residential neighborhood.
These green infrastructure designs identified ways to integrate water resource management with
cultural and historic preservation. For example, Pueblo leadership and planning staff will be able to
preserve critical cultural and historic buildings and roads, and use native plant species for stormwater
swales and other green infrastructure features to increase walkability throughout the Village.
2.3 Project Benefits
Over the years, as western living concepts were introduced, the historic Pueblo living concepts were set
aside for the "modern way of life" diminishing the traditions, culture, and language of Cochiti. The
reconnection of the people and the land will help to preserve, maintain, and continue the traditions,
culture, and language of the Cochiti people. The Pueblo has become more aware of flood hazard and
water quality and quantity issues and the project will begin to address those concerns. Cultural and
historic preservation initiatives already have begun in the Village housing area. One ongoing initiative is
the development of a Plaza Revitalization Plan. The Plaza is a critical cultural element of the Village. The
plan will include mapping out a self-determined preservation and rehabilitation approach that will guide
management of the Plaza in the coming decades.

This project has support from the Pueblo leadership, staff, and community members and will provide a
vision for integrating cultural and traditional ecological knowledge with green infrastructure practices.
Future tribal infrastructure funds, tribal transportation program funds, and water quality and watershed
management funds will be used to leverage additional funds to begin and continue the implementation
of green infrastructure. The results could be a model for tribal communities locally, regionally, and
ical Challenges
The project and any subsequent implementation efforts must preserve and respect the cultural history
of the Pueblo by developing designs that incorporate features sensitive to the culture and supported by
the Pueblo's residents. Traditional building materials and native plants should be selected to maintain
the authentic look of the Pueblo.
There are currently no design standards for the community, so standards from nearby communities will
be considered and adapted as appropriate. Design elements also must be able to function effectively in
the hot, arid climate of the region. Long periods of drought followed by intense rainfall can present
challenges for implementing green infrastructure practices that incorporate vegetation.
Working on tribal lands also could require adherence to specific federal statutes and regulations that
restrict certain design elements.
3 Site Conditions
Located in the heart of the tribe's traditional homeland, much of Pueblo de Cochiti exhibits the
traditional elements of a historic southwest pueblo. The Pueblo needs infrastructure improvements that
are culturally and environmentally appropriate and that focus on traditional needs of the community.
This section describes each of the three project sites.
iti Plaza
Cochiti Plaza is the heart of the Pueblo. It is the location of social and ceremonial gatherings with great
historic and traditional significance. The Plaza center is a large open area with dirt cover and little
vegetation. It is surrounded on all sides by single-story, historic adobe structures. Original features
include flat, grass-vegetated rooftops; canales (scupper drains) for rooftop drainage; and hornos
(outdoor bread ovens). Reconstructed structures use traditional designs to minimize any deviation from
the pueblo style.
There is very little pavement on the Plaza and very limited stormwater control of either paved or
nonpaved areas. Water drains from canales directly onto the ground with no way to capture or store the
rainwater. The majority of the roads are dirt and provide some infiltration of rainwater and drainage.
During the rainy season and winter months, however, much of the drainage flows to the center of the
Plaza and forms a large shallow pool (see Figure 3-1). That phenomenon has positive associations for
many community members who grew up near the Plaza and played in the pool.

Photo credit. Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 3-1. Runoff collected in Plaza center.
Outside of the Plaza center, the primary stormwater-related issue is erosion along building foundations
resulting from rooftop runoff. Figure 3-2 shows a modern design with a gutter and downspout, which
the community does not prefer. Discussions with Pueblo residents indicated a perception that runoff
volumes from rooftop surfaces might have increased with the recent adoption of modern roofing
materials such as impermeable membrane roofs. Flistorically, adobe roofing structures were topped
with a layer of soil that could have retained some portion of each storm event rather than directly
discharging runoff like a modern roofing system; however, a search of published literature could not
confirm that practice.

Photo credit. Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 3-2. Rooftop runoff results in scour along building foundations.
3.2 Turquoise Street
Turquoise Street is a two-lane road connecting Pueblo Route 85 and Plaza Street. It serves as a primary
route between the Plaza and the remainder of the Pueblo. Turquoise Street is located within a 40-60-
foot- (ft-) wide corridor between adjacent residential areas and is paved its entire 1,800-ft length.
Single-family homes, in the traditional adobe and pueblo styles, are located on both sides of the street.
There are no sidewalks or other pedestrian access along the street. Most homes have mature trees and
some local vegetation on their properties. Fences surrounding the homes limit pedestrian access
through the community. See Figure 3-3 for a view of Turquoise Street.

Photo credit. Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 3-3. Existing conditions on Turquoise Street.
The lack of active storrnwater management along Turquoise Street is believed to be a source of
significant erosion problems, including issues in the area where Turquoise Street meets Cochiti Plaza. A
site visit revealed the most severe erosion to be along the fence at the Plaza end of the street, shown in
Figure 3-4.

Photo credit. Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 3-4. Erosion near the intersection of Turquoise and Plaza Streets.
Stormwater runoff throughout the Pueblo generally flows in a southeast direction. In addition to the
area of Turquoise Street near the Plaza, other locations including the area east of the Plaza near a
former fill site show signs of significant erosion and sediment deposition (see Figure 3-5). Conditions
such as these emphasize how greatly a stormwater management plan could benefit Pueblo de Cochiti,

Photo credit. Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 3-5. Stormwater impacts downslope of the Pueblo.
3.3 Robin Street
Robin Street is part of a residential development of single-family homes in the western portion of the
community, across Pueblo Route 85 from Cochiti Plaza. The Robin Street neighborhood was constructed
in the late 1970s on an area of alluvial deposits from the Peralta Creek watershed. During construction,
the street network was excavated several feet below the ground surface to provide surface drainage
away from the residences. In that manner, the roadway network served as the drainage conveyance
system for the neighborhood. Runoff collected in the ditches is ultimately routed into one of several
infiltration basins constructed adjacent to the streets. As a result, there is no off-site discharge of
stormwater from the neighborhood. There still, however, are several localized issues resulting from
stormwater runoff. The excavation of the road network resulted in sloped driveways and other areas
adjacent to the street that often exhibit evidence of scour, as well as sediment deposition on the
roadway itself (see Figure 3-6, Figure 3-7, and Figure 3-8). Some residents have attempted to direct
rooftop runoff into vegetated areas to minimize flow into the road. But drainage from driveways and
other impervious surfaces at many houses along Robin Street contributes to the burden on the
stormwater drainage system, including sediment deposition into the infiltration basins, which are poorly
maintained and being filled in due to the erosion occurring in upland areas.

Photo credit. Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 3-6. Deposited sediment from upland areas often plugs infiltration basin inlets.

Photo credit. Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 3-7. Residences, landscaping, and road conditions on Robin Street.

Photo credit: Terra Tech, Inc.
Figure 3-8. Example of stormwater erosion on Robin Street.
The roadway network within the Robin Street neighborhood exhibits characteristics typical of roadways
of its age. Surface cracks are common on the pavement surface; many appear to have been repaired
with an appropriate sealer. Weeds and other vegetation have grown between the paved surface and the
curb, and sediment accumulates in the gutter, especially near the curb cuts leading to infiltration basins.
Roadway widths range from 20 to 34 ft, which might be excessive given the lack of observed street
parking within the neighborhood.
4 Design Approach
4.1 Stormwater Standards
At present, Pueblo de Cochiti is not regulated by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit and no local standards exist for stormwater
management. To determine appropriate and applicable stormwater standards upon which to base the
green infrastructure design, a review of other New Mexico communities was conducted.
Managing stormwater to predevelopment hydrological conditions for newly developed and redeveloped
sites is a goal of the existing Phase I Albuquerque MS4 permit and the Middle Rio Grande watershed
MS4 permit to improve water quality. Those permits use a percentile storm event approach as a
surrogate that mimics predevelopment hydrology. The Phase I Albuquerque permit requires treatment
of the 90th percentile storm event (0.62 inch) for new development and treatment of the 80th
percentile storm event (0.44 inch) for redevelopment. The proposed Middle Rio Grande watershed MS4
permit contains a similar standard.

The City of Albuquerque Development Process Manual, Chapter 22, Section 2, Part A (City of
Albuquerque 2016) outlines procedures for determining the appropriate design storm, runoff volume,
and peak discharge rate for projects with drainage areas smaller than and larger than 40 acres. The
principal design storm is the 100-year, 6-hour event as defined by NOAA Atlas 2 (Miller et. al 1973). It is
noted that "for design of retention or detention ponds, storms of 24-hour or longer duration may be
required." Part B details the calculations for time of concentration, lag time, and time to peak. Section 9
of the chapter defines the water quality storm event as 0.6 inches of precipitation within a 6-hour
period, which is approximately equivalent to the average annual precipitation event and the 80th
percentile rainfall event.
Per City of Santa Fe Ordinance No. 2011-37 (Chapter 14, Section 8.2 part D.4.b), "the stormwater runoff
peak flow rate discharged from a site shall not exceed pre-development conditions for any frequency
storm event up to the one percent chance, twenty-four-hour storm event at each discharge point." The
ordinance also describes acceptable runoff control measures as including detention and retention
basins, water harvesting, swales, berms, check dams, vegetative ground cover, permeable pavement,
tree wells, dry wells, cisterns, and "other techniques appropriate for retaining and infiltrating water on
site." The ordinance goes on to describe specific standards for individual practices.1
4.2 Soil Conditions
Soils in the Pueblo are predominantly of the type Waumac-Bamac association, which is characterized by
1-7-percent slopes and classified as hydrologic soil group (HSG) A (USDA 2014). Waumac-Bamac soils
are typical of valley floors and alluvial fans, are well-drained-to-excessively drained, and have depths to
water tables greater than 80 inches. They are typically composed of loamy sand and sandy loam soils
with some gravel. Group A soils have a high infiltration rate and low runoff potential.
Geotechnical investigations conducted as part of planned roadway improvements for Coyote Street (two
blocks south of Turquoise Street) provide more specific information on subsurface soil conditions, which
might be representative of the Pueblo at large (Terracon 2014). Since the soil borings were conducted in
support of roadway design, they do not directly provide the full suite of information that might be
necessary for the final design of green infrastructure practices; for example, the data do not contain
permeability/infiltration rates of subsoil layers. The investigations do, however, provide general
information on soil texture and classification, which give an indication of these critical features. The two
borings were advanced to a depth of 6.5 ft at disparate locations along Coyote Road. Poorly graded sand
with silt (SP-SM) with fines constituting approximately 10 percent dominate the subsoil conditions at
both locations. At one of the boring locations, a surface layer of silty sand (SM) extends to a depth of 2
ft. Neither boring location exhibited ground water, showing no indication of a seasonally high water
The sand-based textural classification, limited fines content, and absence of observed ground water
indicate that subsoils in the project area are well within the typical characteristics for infiltration-based
green infrastructure practices, which makes these practices appropriate for the Pueblo.
1 http://derkshg.com/default.ashx?clientsite=Santafe-nm.

4.3 Community Charrette
To integrate green infrastructure successfully into a traditional community such as Pueblo de Cochiti, it
will be essential to obtain feedback from the community. This community perspective and historic
context will clearly influence the concept design approach. A communitywide charrette took place the
evening of July 16, 2014, to present the green infrastructure concept and provide a format for
community input into the development of the green infrastructure plan for the Pueblo. Prior to the
charrette, a discussion was held with a group of students who were participating in the summer native
language program. As part of the discussion, the students were asked to provide sketches of how green
infrastructure practices could be integrated into Pueblo de Cochiti (see Figure 4-1 and Figure 4-2).
Hgure 4-1. Student sketch of raingarden in Pueblo setting.
Figure 4-2. Student sketch of roadside swale.
After meeting with the students, a larger group participated in the evening charrette. Attendance at the
evening charrette was high with a multigenerational group of community members. The discussion was
lively and the residents appreciated the opportunity to contribute to the development process.

The discussion touched on several areas of potential green infrastructure activities. As a guiding
principle, the group agreed that the modern look of the recently redeveloped Cochiti Street was not
appealing or consistent with the Pueblo style (see Figure 4-3). Specific complaints about Cochiti Street
included the concrete, large curbs, speed bumps, and dark asphalt, instead, the community preferred
designs that include gentle curbing, no pavement, and more natural-looking roads. Participants agreed
that preserving the traditional look of the community was very important.
Figure 4-3. View of Cochiti Street, including the heavy infrastructure features that Pueblo members
expressed a desire to avoid.
Much of the discussion during the charrette centered on ideas for green infrastructure improvements
along Turquoise Street. Turquoise Street residents were very vocal and were able to provide information
on the history of the road. For example, the residents spoke about why the road was fenced at the Plaza
end and how construction on the adjoining road has impacted them by limiting access to their
Ideas for Turquoise Street included removing the pavement entirely and using a more appropriately
colored pavement (e.g., tan) that would blend in with the natural surroundings. Other ideas included:
•	An unpaved walking trail along the north side of the street leading to the Plaza area, with shade
from fruit trees and native plants.
•	Providing access to yards and keeping pedestrians out of the street.

•	Removing the existing fencing in the Pueblo area to return to a more traditional open space.
Replacement of only some fences with more natural looking coyote (latilla) fencing would
contain pets.
•	The student group expressed interest in adding a feature at the historic windmill near the
entrance to Turquoise Street (e.g., a fitness trail or native trees and plants) that would make
better use of the space, provide for some bioretention, and preserve the character of the land.
•	Planting fruit trees such as apple, apricot, cherry, and pear, as well as native trees (e.g.,
cottonwood and aspen) along the street was met with agreement. Future costs for maintenance
of trees and vegetation, however, were raised as a concern.
Existing issues in the Plaza area also were discussed during the charrette. Ice formation in the winter and
exposed tree roots were considered problematic. Community members stated that any green
infrastructure projects proposed for the Plaza area must be consistent with the social and ceremonial
uses of that area and must be coordinated with the Plaza revitalization group and tribal specialists.
The Pueblo de Cochiti community is sensitive to aesthetics and does not wish to deviate from historical
vegetation species or construction practices. Community acceptance is among the most significant
factors in evaluating potential stormwater management options. This section describes green
infrastructure practices that have been identified as appropriate for the community.
4-AI! 7,.- •• -¦> .
A rain garden, also known as bioretention or a bioretention cell, is a shallow, vegetated basin that
collects and infiltrates runoff from rooftops, streets, sidewalks, and other impervious surfaces (USEPA
2014). Rain gardens should be sited to capture runoff from as much impervious area as possible and
sized to provide a volume of soil storage that is appropriate for the extent of the drainage area. Rain
gardens are typically planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses to maximize stormwater
infiltration (see Figure 4-4). Excavation might be required to increase soil storage and accommodate
plant roots, and soil amendments might be necessary to increase soil water retention and maintain
healthy plants (USEPA 2010).
Due to the limited rainfall and water supply in arid and semiarid regions, careful attention must be given
to selecting appropriate plant species. Unlike conventional gardens, rain gardens are designed to receive
most or all of their water needs from precipitation, making them an attractive option where water
conservation is a concern (USEPA 2010). When properly designed, rain gardens mimic natural hydrology
and are able to withstand moisture extremes, which makes them an ideal green infrastructure practice
for arid regions.
Stormwater runoff is conveyed to rain gardens via sheet flow or can be directed from a downspout,
driveway, or sump pump. By infiltrating and temporarily storing runoff water, rain gardens not only
remove pollutants but also can reduce a site's overall runoff volume and help to maintain the
predevelopment peak discharge rate and timing (a key component of many stormwater program

Source: University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
Figure 4-4. Typical rain garden design.
4.4.2 Green Street
Green streets typically integrate multiple green infrastructure elements into the street or alley design to
store, infiltrate, and evapotranspire stormwater. Common green street/green alley elements include
permeable pavement, vegetated swales or bioswales, planter boxes, street trees, vegetated curb
extensions, and landscaped medians (USEPA 2009, 2014). See Figure 4-5 for an example design. Typical
benefits of green streets include reduced stormwater flow, urban heating, and carbon footprints; and
improved water quality, pedestrian safety, and neighborhood aesthetics. Residential streets often offer
excellent opportunities for green street designs because they tend to have lower vehicle speeds and
traffic volumes and frequently already incorporate landscape elements (USEPA 2009).
One of the key green infrastructure practices proposed as part of the green street design for Pueblo de
Cochiti is the use of infiltration swales. These long, shallow vegetated depressions are slightly sloped to
convey stormwater. Swales are different from rain gardens in that they are linear in geometry and are
designed to allow water to travel downslope. Stormwater flow through the swale is reduced as it
encounters plants and soil, which allows for the settling of sediment and pollutants. Water is absorbed
into the soil and taken up by plants; it can infiltrate fully if native soil conditions permit (USEPA 2009,
2010). As with rain gardens, vegetation selection is critically important for swale design in arid and
semiarid climates.
Other proposed green street design elements for Turquoise Street include the planting of fruit trees and
resurfacing the street with a new colored asphalt pavement.

Source: Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 4-5. Example greeri street design incorporating curb cuts leading to roadside infiltration swales.
4.4.3 Cisterns and Rain Barrels
Cisterns are a type of rainwater harvesting system that enables the collection and storage of rainfall for
later use. When properly designed, they slow and reduce runoff and can provide an alternate source of
water for irrigation or other uses. That feature is of particular interest in arid regions such as the
Southwest, where water recycling can reduce demands on limited water supplies (USEPA 2014). Cisterns
can be constructed both above and below ground from a variety of materials including concrete, metal,
wood, and plastic (see Figure 4-6). Storage volumes typically range from several hundred to several
thousand gallons, an appropriate size for concurrent use by multiple single-family residences. Cisterns
can be designed to store stormwater for irrigation or infiltration between storms, or to slowly release
water through a permanently open outlet. To maximize storage and hydrologic performance, systems
should drain fully between rain events, ideally via slow release into another green infrastructure practice
or landscaped area for irrigation and treatment. An overflow structure also is necessary for cases in
which the volume of stormwater exceeds the cistern's capacity. Overflow can then be routed to another
green infrastructure practice or to the conventional stormwater drainage system.
On a smaller scale, rain barrels typically store less than 100 gallons and are generally appropriate for use
by individual residences (see Figure 4-7). To maximize hydrologic benefit, however, rain barrels either
must be appropriately sized or multiple units must be used to fully capture runoff from the contributing
roof area.
These systems are typically placed near roof downspouts so that flows can be easily diverted into the
cistern or rain barrel. The State of New Mexico's rainwater harvest guide contains detailed information
on cistern design procedures that are appropriate for the Pueblo de Cochiti region (OSE 2009).

Source: Santa Fe Children's Museum, Santa Fe, NM
Figure 4-6. Decorative cistern.
Source: Tijeras Rain Barrels, Albuquerque, NM
Figure 4-7. Example rain barrel installations.

4.4.4 Vegetation Selection
Several species of native trees and plants were considered for the conceptual designs. Fruit trees
including apple, apricot, cherry, and pear will provide additional resources to the community and are
historically significant for the area. Other trees such as cottonwoods, aspen, and willow are naturally
found along the flood plains of nearby rivers and streams. Those riparian plant species are well-
integrated into the local hydrologic system, provide important wildlife habitat, and help to regulate
overall water temperature fluctuation and nutrient levels. Additionally, they stabilize stream banks and
prevent erosion. Pinon and juniper trees, found further upland, can provide an economic resource for
the community.
Many native trees and plants are historically significant to the Pueblo and reintroducing them has been
recommended as an effort to restore or enhance their role in the traditional way of life. These species
include tea plants, the yucca, and the Rocky Mountain Bee Plant (Cleome serrulate/). Several varieties of
herbs and tea plants have historical, ceremonial, and economic significance for the Pueblo (see Figure 4-
8 for an example planting). The concept of reintroducing native and ceremonial herbs and teas around
the Pueblo, such as in garden areas, was well received by community members. Yucca plants are both
culturally and economically significant in the Southwest and to the Pueblo community. Yucca plants
come in several varieties, are widespread on a variety of landforms on the Pueblo lands, and can provide
browse and cover for animals.
Photo credit: Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 4-8. Growth of Greenthread, a native plant used for tea in Pueblo de Cochiti.
Rocky Mountain Bee Plant is a pink-blossomed wildflower often found along dry roadsides (see Figure 4-
9). This annual herb can grow up to 4 ft tall, has a long blooming season, and has blossoms that attract a
diverse array of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and wasps. The Bee Plant is an important cultural
plant; in the past, it has been used as a potherb or medicinally as a tea for fevers and other ailments.
The seeds also were ground and used to make gruel or bread. A concentrated form of dye made from
boiling the plant into a thick black resin is used to paint designs on pottery or for decorating baskets.

Photo credit: Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 4-9. Rocky Mountain Bee Plant observed in the community.
Tribal specialists can provide additional guidance and recommendations for planting native plants that
are historically significant to the tribe. An online resource for the Pueblo is the Southwest Yard and
Garden Plant Advisor (New Mexico State University 2016). This resource includes a large database of
xeriscaping plants, as well as helpful tips and advice for landscaping in New Mexico.
5 Concept Design
As mentioned above, a principal consideration when selecting and designing green infrastructure
practices for use in Pueblo de Cochiti is community acceptance, with an emphasis on using locally
available and community-approved materials. Furthermore, the practices and their design
configurations must be appropriate for local climate conditions. The conceptual green infrastructure
designs detailed in this section address the stormwater management concerns in each of the three
project areas. The information obtained in the community charrette heavily influenced the green
infrastructure practices proposed for each area. Specifically, typical practice configurations applicable to
the Desert Southwest urban environment were modified to preserve historical pueblo aesthetics.
Furthermore, the concept designs were selected and configured to enable local community members to
use local resources to implement and maintain the practices, ensuring that they are sustainable and
successful in the long term.
5.1 Cochiti Plaza
Under the existing conditions, roof runoff that accumulates during rainfall events causes scour and
erosion around building foundations in the community (see Figure 5-1). Residents have emphasized that
any green infrastructure practices proposed for Cochiti Plaza should avoid digging and grading. To
address those conditions, two green infrastructure practice types—cisterns and rain gardens—are
recommended for consideration.

Photo credit. Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 5-1. Photos illustrating scour and erosion at adobe foundations under a canales.
Cisterns and rain barrels are technologically appropriate solutions for the stormwater issues in Cochiti
Plaza. During charrette discussions, however, members of the community expressed reservations about
the use of the practice within the Plaza area. The design of cistern or rain barrel systems for the Plaza
would have to consider the community's preference for historical aesthetics. Figure 4-7 illustrates
examples of rain barrels in New Mexico communities that are constructed of materials designed to
blend in with regional buildings and landscapes. Pueblo residents determined that those applications
were inconsistent with the desired aesthetics of the Pueblo. As a result, the conceptual design for the
Plaza area does not include cisterns or rain barrels. Additional discussions with the community are
necessary to determine potentially acceptable materials and locations for the water harvesting systems
and whether they can be implemented as part of future green infrastructure initiatives.
Small-scale rain gardens were more warmly received by residents as a potential green infrastructure
practice within the Plaza area. The rain gardens would consist of shallow depressions adjacent to the
building into which rooftop runoff from canales would collect and infiltrate (see Figure 5-2).
Materials such as native stones should be placed under the canales to dissipate energy and route runoff
into the rain garden. The rain gardens would be planted with locally and culturally significant vegetation
species (such as those described in section 4.4.4).

Source: Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 5-2. Rain garden schematic.
Many structures are slightly elevated relative to surrounding roadways and pathways, possibly a result
of long-term erosion. In those instances, implementation of a rain garden could require a retaining wall
system to provide a transition in elevation and protect the rain garden from erosion (Figure 5-3).
Retaining walls consisting of large timbers are used elsewhere in the Pueblo but are not preferred by the
community. To address those concerns, the conceptual design proposes to construct the retaining wall
of adobe brick and plaster consistent with building construction throughout the Pueblo. Adobe brick is
emphasized as the community's preferred material. An additional benefit of adobe is that the
community has a skilled adobe maker within the Pueblo and is actively building the capacity to conduct
regular maintenance of adobe walls using community resources. In the construction of adobe brick
retaining walls and implementation of rain gardens adjacent to existing buildings, the potential for
implications to structural stability of the buildings and other infrastructure should be considered.
Therefore, it is recommended that, prior to installation of these practices, a local engineer be consulted
to ensure that construction will not endanger structural stability and that retaining wall size is
appropriate for site conditions.

Source: Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 5-3. An artist's rendering of a rain garden incorporating an adobe retaining wall.
In retrofit scenarios such as the Plaza and throughout the rest of Pueblo de Cochiti, the sizing of any
green infrastructure device depends on the space available and the presence of other infrastructure. As
such, any rain garden installation should attempt to take advantage of site conditions and not be
constrained by a strict sizing guidance. To provide a guide for potential rain garden sizing, an assessment
of Pueblo rooftop size contributing to each rain garden was conducted. Since most rain garden retrofits
would treat runoff from a single canal, this scenario was the basis for the analysis. The assessment
revealed that contributing rooftop area for most buildings generally ranges from 100 to 400 square feet
(sq ft). That range of contributory area was used to determine the rain garden size necessary to retain
the 0.62 inch rainfall that Pueblo receives annually (Table 5-1). This information provides a general guide
for rain garden sizing, but rain garden designers could construct rain gardens that vary from these
guidelines to suit site conditions.

Table 5-1 Rain garden sizing guide to retain 0.6-inch storm
Rooftop Drainage Area
(sq ft)
Runoff Volume for Storm
(cu ft)
Suggested Rain
Garden Footprint
(sq ft)
Suggested Rain Garden
Note: cu ft = cubic feet.
The use of rain gardens for stormwater management will help to alleviate some of Pueblo de Cochiti's
stormwater issues, while also addressing their desire to bring more vegetation into the community.
5.2 Turquoise Street
Pueblo de Cochiti residents expressed overwhelming disapproval of a recent roadway improvement
project on Cochiti Street that included the installation of asphalt pavement, curbs, speed bumps, and
other design features that are not commensurate with the historical and cultural character of the
community. The proposed green infrastructure design for Turquoise Street (included in Appendix A)
incorporates roadside infiltration swales planted with fruit trees along both sides of the street and a
walking path on one side of the street. The proposed design includes the use of coarse local stone for
the roadside swales and native stone for the walking path surface. The aging asphalt road surface would
be resurfaced with a new asphalt material dyed to match the native soil color to preserve historic
The stone walking path will improve pedestrian safety and address a key concern raised in the
community charrette regarding residents walking in the street. Planting fruit trees along the new street
design will provide additional opportunities for stormwater infiltration and evapotranspiration,
improved aesthetics and shading, and a potential food resource for the community. All of these
practices together will respect residents' preference for historically and culturally significant vegetation
and neighborhood aesthetics, while helping to reach the community's goal of increasing the amount of
vegetation and shade.
Figure 5-4 shows a current view of Turquoise Street and the projected view after implementation of the
proposed green street design. Figure 5-5 presents a cross section of the proposed green street design.

Photo credit. Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 5-4. Top, view of Turquoise Street near Pueblo Route 85 facing southeast; bottom, artist's
rendering of green street design.

Figure 5-5. Proposed green street concept design cross section for Turquoise Street.
The City of Albuquerque's stormwater design guidance was used as a preliminary reference for
calculating the volume of stormwater storage required by the proposed infiltration swales. As noted in
section 4.1, the Albuquerque MS4 permit requires treatment of the 90th percentile storm, which is
equivalent to a rainfall depth of 0.62 inch. That criterion was used to provide preliminary sizing,
summarized in Table 5-2.
Table 5-2. Summary of infiltration swale geometry and retention volume for Turquoise Street design
Project Area
Infrastructure BMP
Area (acre)
Design BMP
Width (ft)a
Design BMP
Length (ft)
Provided (ft3)
Turquoise Street
Infiltration Swale
fc3 = cubic feet
a. Infiltration swales of 5-ft width are recommended for both sides of the street, totaling 10-ft width.
The Turquoise Street conceptual design, once implemented, also could serve as a template for future
roadway improvement projects such as the other connecting streets along Pueblo Route 85 and streets
within the Robin Street neighborhood (discussed in section 5.3).

5.3 Robin Street
The existing stormwater management system serving the Robin Street neighborhood is beset by
problems of scour in upland areas and associated sediment deposition along streets and infiltration
basins. Despite preventing the discharge of stormwater from the neighborhood, the current
management approach results in unsightly conditions, eroding landscapes, and potentially hazardous
roadway surfaces. Based on observed site conditions, it was determined that the Pueblo should consider
a suite of green infrastructure solutions that can be implemented at a variety of temporal and spatial
scales, constituting a long-term green infrastructure plan for the Robin Street neighborhood.
5.3.1 Residential Green Infrastructure Solutions
A central tenet of the green infrastructure plan for the Robin Street neighborhood is to manage
stormwater at its source within the upland residential areas. Management at this scale can be
accomplished through both nonstructural and structural approaches.
Nonstructural solutions recommended for this neighborhood include a reduction in sloped areas
dedicated to driveways by replacing them with vegetation to increase stormwater infiltration and
improve soil stability. Many driveways in the Robin Street area are excessively wide, resulting in
vehicular traffic along a large area of sloped ground. The width of those areas should be limited to only
what is necessary to provide access to residences and parking space for vehicles. That can be
accomplished through either targeted planting of vegetation or placement of aesthetic stone or timber
barriers that can blend into the landscape. Such vegetation reestablishment also is recommended for
areas outside of existing driveways, which also could be denuded of vegetation or impacted by historic
compaction or other activities. Figure 5-6 shows an example of aesthetically desirable landscaping at a
Robin Street home that exhibits good vegetative cover and limits driveway width.
Photo credit. Tetra Tech, Inc.
Figure 5-6. Desirable landscaping elements at a Robin Street home.

The structural green infrastructure practices of rain gardens and cisterns were identified as suitable for
use within this neighborhood based on observed conditions and community preferences. Both practices
can result in a net reduction in runoff volumes while encouraging (if not enhancing) the amount of
vegetation surrounding residential structures. The application and design guidance for rain gardens
detailed in section 5.1 for the Plaza area also is applicable to the Robin Street neighborhood. The list of
plant species, however, could be expanded beyond historically or culturally relevant species to include
others that are desirable to individual residents. Cisterns should be considered as an alternative practice
to rain gardens where dedicated use of captured rainwater is desired by residents. Cistern design should
be customized for each contributing rooftop and associated use based on locally relevant design criteria,
such as the City of Albuquerque rainwater harvest guide (City of Albuquerque 1999).
5.3.2 Roadway Green Infrastructure Solutions
While rooftops and eroding driveways were observed to be a primary source of stormwater issues
observed within the neighborhood, the roadway network itself constitutes the majority of impervious
surface in this area of the Pueblo. In addition, observation of the number of vehicles using on-street
parking suggest that roadway widths are likely excessive relative to the current needs of the community.
As the current roadways require maintenance and ultimately replacement, the Pueblo could consider
reducing the overall roadway width where appropriate, specifically on Jackrabbit, Broken Arrow, and
Robin streets where widths exceed 20 ft (the minimum generally necessary for emergency services
access). Such roadway reduction would directly reduce the amount of impervious surface contributing
to stormwater runoff within the area and have the added benefit of reducing roadway replacement and,
by extension, maintenance costs. The resulting space left over from roadway reduction activities might
provide opportunities for incorporating green infrastructure elements such as those prescribed for the
Turquoise Street conceptual design.
6 Conclusion
A wide variety of green infrastructure stormwater solutions have been developed for application in
urbanized areas throughout the country and are generally suited to communities that follow typical
urban development practices. But for traditional Pueblo communities of the arid Southwest such as
Pueblo de Cochiti, standard green infrastructure practices, design geometries, and construction
materials often conflict with the traditional development patterns and cultural needs of the community.
Nonetheless, the broader green infrastructure principles of reduced impervious surface, management of
stormwater at its source, and incorporation of vegetation can easily be adapted to the Pueblo setting.
The conceptual designs recommended for Pueblo de Cochiti adapt regionally appropriate green
infrastructure practices using appropriate construction materials and vegetation and provide a plan for
integrating green infrastructure into current and future Plaza revitalization and Pueblo development.
The plan enables the Pueblo to use an adaptive approach to green infrastructure implementation along
its roadways and to learn from initial projects which designs, materials, and vegetation are most suitable
for long-term success and community acceptance.

7 References
OSE (Office of the State Engineer). 2009. Roof Reliant Landscaping: Rainwater Harvesting with Cistern
Systems in New Mexico. New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, Albuquerque, NM.
City of Albuquerque. 2014. Development Process Manual. City of Albuquerque, Albuquerque, New
Mexico. http://www.amleaal.com/codes/client/albuaueraue nmZ.
City of Albuquerque. 1999. Rainwater Harvesting: Supply from the Sky. City of Albuquerque,
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Miller, J.F., R.H. Frederick, and R.J. Tracey. 1973. Precipitation-Frequency Atlas of the Western United
States. NOAA Atlas 2, Volume IV - New Mexico. National Weather Service, Silver Spring,
New Mexico State University. 2016. Southwest Yard and Garden Plant Advisor.
Terracon Consultants, Inc. 2014. Geotechnical Engineering Report: Coyote Road Improvements.
Albuquerque, NM.
USACE (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). 2012. Technical Assistance Report for Pueblo de Cochiti: Las
Conchas Fire Response and Peralta Creek Flood Mitigation Measures. U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture). 2014. Web Soil Survey home page. Accessed December 18,
2014. http://websoilsurvey.sc.eQov.usda.gov/App/HomePaue.htm.
USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2009. Green Streets: A Conceptual Guide to Effective
Green Streets Design Solutions. EPA-833-F-09-002. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
http://nacto.ora/docs/usda/2000 green streets epa.pdf
USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2010. Green Infrastructure in Arid and Semi-Arid
Climates. EPA-833-B-10-002. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
https://www3.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/arid climates casestudv.pdf
USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2014. What is Green Infrastructure? Accessed December
2014. http://water.epa.Qov/infrastructure/areeninfrastructure/ai what.cfm.
Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC). 2010. Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Middle
Rio Grande Watershed. June 30, 2010. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-
10/documents/middle rio grande nm.pdf.

Appendix A: Turquoise Street Concept Design


Site Location

Drainage Area Characteristics
Proposed Characteristics*
Date of Field Visit
35° 36' 33" N
Drainage Area, acres
Proposed BMPs
Field Visit Personnel
J. Smith, K. Dors
106° 20' 59" W
Hydrologic Soil Group
Total Detention Vol., ft3
Major Watershed
Rio Grande River
Pueblo de Cochiti
Existing use
Swale Area, ft2
Street Address
Turquoise Street

Design Storm Event, in

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Existing Site Description: The proposed project site consists of Turquoise Street, a
two lane residential road connecting Pueblo Route 85 with the Plaza Street. The
road is currently paved with an aging asphalt surface approximately 18 feet wide
within a 40-60 ft' wide corridor. The corridor is bordered by private residences
served by vehicular driveways. Shallow swales run along both sides of the road
providing surface drainage of roadway runoff which flows southeast towards Plaza
Proposed Green Infrastructure Description: Proposed improvements to the
roadway will include incorporation of infiltration swales along both sides of the
roadway designed to capture and infiltrate roadway runoff. The swales will be
partially filled with local native stone and planted with local fruit tree cultivars to
utilize the captured runoff. A 3 ft wide stone walking path will be included on the
southern side of the roadway.
SS = Stormwater Swale, ST = Street Trees
•Green Infrastructure characteristics are based on field observations and GIS data resources available at the time of
conceptual design analysis. Note that final design characteristics will be dependent on a detailed site survey and could
vary slightly from conceptual design characteristics.
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Current Street View (Facing Southeast)

Conceptual Green Street Rendering (Facing Southeast)
Section A-A'